Running thoughts: Pacers 105, Magic 97

Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 105-97 win over the Orlando Magic Monday night at the Amway Center

  • I expect Victor Oladipo to have himself a nice game. He didn’t feel appreciate in Orlando, where he spent his first three seasons, or in Oklahoma City last year. He didn’t feel like they were invested in him – not like the Pacers have been.
  • Former Indiana University coach Tom Crean and his son, Riley, were in attendance to see Oladipo (and former manager Tim Dather, the Pacers’ video coordinator).
  • Lance Stephenson danced for the camera, doing a little shimmy as Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner did their opening stand-up.
  • Pacers have dominated the series, taking all four games last season and winning 11 of the last 12 meetings, including six in a row in the land of Disney. (Magic last beat the Pacers at home on Feb. 9, 2014.)
  • Frank Vogel’s beard game is strong.
  • I was curious how they would come out fresh off a big win in Miami the night before. They shot 65 percent in the first opening quarter and got 10 points from Thad Young. And the ball movement were really good. They were making the extra pass.
  • Talking about this being a must-win for Orlando? Um, no. It’s November 20th, just 17 games into the 82-game NBA season. There are no must-win games for months.
  • Good play from Stephenson. He’s been active and feisty. Eight rebounds and six assists at the half.
  • Turnovers for touchdowns against Vogel! Oladipo showed off his athletic ability late in the second period when he stole the ball and dribbled just once from mid-court before the slam dunk.
  • Despite Vogel calling four timeouts in the half, the Magic have a 55-50 lead. They scored the final 11 points of the half. After 34 points in the first quarter, the Pacers were limited to 16 in the second.
  • Oladipo tallied at least 20 points for the 13th time in 18 games, and for the sixth time over the last seven games.
  • Pacers controlled the third quarter, getting 13 points from Bojan Bogdanovic and keeping the Magic to 26-percent shooting, but their lead was just six, 78-72.
  • A six-point swing occurred four minutes into the fourth. Sabonis was whistled for his fifth foul as former Pacer guard D.J. Augustin took a dive, then buried a 3-pointer at the other end. Potentially a 10-point lead shrunk to four, 85-81.
  • Their defense has been terrific and this one would have been wrapped up in the third quarter if not for poor shooting; so many missed bunnies at the hoop.
  • The energy level and speed of this team is impressive. They’re able to do what Nate McMillan wants because of it.
  • Thad Young made his first six shots, then made just one of his next eight shots.
  • Oladipo went to the locker room after a hard fall late in the fourth. He returned a short while later and completed an important three-point play. He did it all: 29 points, 9 rebounds, career-high 7 steals, and 5 assists.
  • Bogdanovic hit the dagger, a 3-pointer on the right arc. He wanted it, and buried it. 26 points for the second night in a row on 5-of-7 shooting from range.
  • Five of 14 back-to-backs are now complete. The Pacers won both games for the second time.
  • Magic lost their fifth straight game after winning eight of their first 12 games.
  • First four-game win streak for the 10-8 Pacers for the first time in two years.
  • Up next: The Pacers don’t play again until Friday, when they begin a three-game homestand against C.J. Miles and the Toronto Raptors.

[Photo: Frank McGrath/PS&E]

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