Running thoughts: Pacers 121, Magic 109

Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 121-109 win over the Orlando Magic Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

  • Victor Oladipo is back – and in the starting lineup – after being sidelined for one game due to a bruised right knee. The injury occurred in their 107-104 win over Toronto Friday night. He was kept out of Saturday’s home loss to Boston (108-98).
  • Looking for something different from his team after losing eight games in a row, Frank Vogel started Jonathon Simmons over Terrence Ross.
  • Tough crowd on hand, but it’s not surprising. Third home game in four nights, this one after Thanksgiving Weekend, against the Magic, and on a Monday night.
  • Myles Turner went back to the locker room in the first quarter (6:03) with assistant trainer Carl Eaton. This was after he took an elbow to the face from Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic. No worries though, just wanted to have his ankle re-taped.
  • First foul on Indiana was until the 8:45 mark of the second quarter. And so Orlando’s first free throw came nine seconds later, taken by Marreese Speights for the three-point play. By that time, Indiana was 8 for 8.
  • Magic score 12 of the first 14 points in the second quarter to take the lead, 37-35. The Pacers answered with three straight field goals from three different players – Oladipo, Stephenson, and Turner.
  • Oladipo clearly in a groove against his first pro team. 8 for 8 in the first half with a game-high 18 points. On a bruised knee, no less.
  • Turner made 11 3-pointers through the first 20 games (at a 38-percent clip). He hit three in this one.
  • Lance got popped in the mouth and then cherry-picked. It paid off, though, as Thad Young got the steal and through it ahead to him for an easy layup. Lead held steady at 10.
  • Pacers need to do a better job at closing third quarters. Magic trimmed it deficit to one via a 14-5 run over the final 3:20.
  • I’m not sure I’ve seen a player on the bench sprint faster to mid-court than Joe Young did to join in celebration with Stephenson after Lance’s no-look find to Domantas Sabonis. Stephenson, who had 18 points and has average 17.3 points per game over the last three, then slapped the hands of fans.
  • Tremendous spirit from those on the Pacers’ bench. They got too hyped after big plays which led to Orlando timeouts. It’s hilarious. It also shows how much they enjoy one another.
  • Frank Vogel still hasn’t beaten his former team. 0-6. The Pacers have dominated the series, winning 17 of the last 19 meetings dating back to the 2012-13 season.
  • Nine consecutive Ls for the Magic, who drop to 8-13. (A shame more fans weren’t on hand to enjoy.)
  • Up next: the Pacers (12-9) play in Houston on Wednesday and Toronto on Friday. Then, they’re back home for a six-game homestand, their longest of the season.
  • Third straight 20-point game for Oladipo, who made his first 10 field goal attempts, including three 3s. He scored a game-high 26 points.
  • Oladipo said mentally, there was no way he would miss tonight. It pained him to sit out Saturday against Boston.
  • More on the team’s chemistry: After the win, several Pacers were seeing what others were doing tonight. Many planned to grab dinner together. … It’s the little things like this.

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A familiar face back in the Fieldhouse.

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