The Magic are unable to find a rhythm in their second straight loss to the Pacers

Franz Wagner scored 20 points and Gary Harris of the Fishers, of Indiana State, scored 18 in his second game of the season, but the shorthanded Orlando Magic didn’t get a steady rhythm in Monday’s 123-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

After the Magic tripled up with just over eight minutes left in the second quarter on a Wagner layup for the drive, the Pacers picked up the momentum with a 15-3 lead. Tyrese Haliburton, who finished with 18 points and 14 assists, made 2 shots during that span, including a 3-pointer to complete the offense. Veteran TJ McConnell also hit one of his triple doubles during that span. As night fell, McConnell had yet to score a three-goal haul this season.

The Pacers caused most of their damage in the paint and in the transitions. They scored 58 drawing points and 21 fast break points. Indiana also recorded 12 more assists than Orlando and 10 more rebounds.

“I think the NBA has done a great job with this. Obviously the schedule comes along and you have to see when you can find those moments. But I think it’s great. It’s like a playoff game – adjustments you need to make. Then it’s obviously allowing players Comfortable in the same city for two games.” – Magical magic coach Jamal Moseley for playing the same opponent twice in a row in the same city

Wendell Carter Jr. (right plantar fascia strain), Paolo Panchero (left ankle sprain), Cole Anthony (right internal oblique muscle injury), Markell Fultz (toe), Mo Wagner (right midfoot sprain), and Jonathan Isaacs ( Left knee rehabilitation) for magic. Choma Okeke left the match with a sore left knee after playing 12 minutes and did not return. Chris Duarte (ankle) and Daniel Theis (knee) were not available for the Pacers.

This wasn’t the first time the Magic had been in Indianapolis on November 21. In 2008, the Magic beat the Pacers in an overtime thriller. Rashard Lewis, who scored 23 points, hit three clutch shots in the final two minutes of overtime, including a go-ahead jumper with 23 seconds left in the game. Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson also passed the 20-point mark. Indiana scored three of its 20-plus-point scorers, including Marquis Daniels, who finished with 25 points.

The Pacers have exceeded expectations this year, in large part because of how well their triple guard has performed. Haliburton has a good chance of winning the All-Star title. Buddy Hield is considered one of the best pitchers in the league; And Benedict Mathurin is a nominee for both Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year. It remains to be seen, though, which direction the Indiana front office decides to move. There was rumblings going back to the summer about the potential availability of Hield and Myles Turner in the trade market.

The Magic will have a few days to prepare for their next rival, the Philadelphia 76ers, who will be in Orlando for two straight games, with the first game taking place Friday at 7 p.m. Like the Magic, the Sixers have been battered by injuries. Currently, James Harden, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey are all dealing with foot injuries. Harden and Maxie are all but certain to miss the games against the Magic, while Embiid has already been ruled out for Philly’s games against Brooklyn and Charlotte and is expected to be listed as a suspect in Friday’s contest.

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