|Date of game: 1/25/2015
Recap: Orlando vs. Indiana
Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Damjan Rudez gave the slumping Pacers a huge lift off the bench, scoring 16 of his career-high 18 points in the fourth quarter as Indiana rallied for a 106-99 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Big efforts from Rudez, who knocked down 4-of-6 shots from 3-point range in the final period, and fellow reserve George Hill enabled the Pacers to halt a seven-game losing streak by coming back from nine-point deficit with eight minutes to play.
"We needed a victory," Rudez said. "We're better than our record shows."
Hill delivered 17 points in just 20 minutes in his second game back from a lingering groin injury, including back-to-back baskets after the Magic had knotted the score at 97-97 on two Nikola Vucevic free throws with 2:23 remaining.
David West added 20 points and Roy Hibbert had 11 along with 13 rebounds to help Indiana end its five-game road trip on a high note.
Vucevic finished with 27 points and Victor Oladipo recorded 18 in the Magic's fifth consecutive defeat, which dropped Orlando to 5-15 at home.
The Pacers were trailing 88-79 when Rudez began to catch fire, with the Croatian forward burying two 3-pointers around a triple from teammate C.J. Watson before driving the lane for a game-tying uncontested dunk with 5:51 left.
Rudez sank another trey a minute later, and Ian Mahinmi finished off a 16-3 Indiana run with a slam off a Watson feed to give the Pacers a 95-91 lead with 4:28 to go.
Back-to-back baskets from Elfrid Payton then pulled Orlando back even, but Hill got into the lane to sink a tie-breaking layup shortly thereafter and put down a run-out slam after West forced a Magic turnover for a 101-97 edge with 1:45 to play.
"You can't have the mistakes we had late in the game," Vucevic said. "Those mistakes cost us."
Rudez came through with the dagger in the final moments, draining another 3- pointer that put Indiana up 105-99 with 21.2 seconds showing.
The Pacers held a 62-60 lead early in the third quarter before committing four turnovers over a two-minute stretch, leading to a 10-2 Orlando run in which Oladipo had five points. The Magic took a 82-75 advantage into the fourth, but shot just 35.3 percent in the final frame while being outscored by a 31-17 count.
Vucevic totaled 10 first-quarter points and the Magic owned a 27-24 edge after one period on a triple from Tobias Harris, but an 8-0 Indiana spurt in the second had the Pacers up 48-42 with 2 1/2 minutes to go in the half. Their lead was four until Harris drove the lane and scored with 2.7 seconds left to bring Orlando within 51-49 at the break.Game Notes
Rudez shattered his previous career best of 13 points set against Detroit on
Jan. 16 ... The Pacers went 5-of-7 on 3-point tries in the fourth quarter
after making just 3-of-13 over the first three ... Indiana had been 6-21 when
trailing after one quarter coming in ... Rodney Stuckey added 15 points for
the Pacers ... Magic rookie Aaron Gordon made his first career NBA start and
finished with nine points ... Indiana's C.J. Miles missed the game after
hurting his groin in Friday's loss at Miami.