INDIANAPOLIS – Paul George scored 19 points and Tyler Hansbrough had 14 points and 14 rebounds, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 95-73 rout of the struggling Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
The Pacers improved to 27-8 at home despite playing without second-leading scorer David West because of a sprained lower back.
Maurice Harkless and Arron Afflalo each had 10 points for the Magic, who lost their fourth straight on a night they shot just 31.8 percent from the field and coach Jacque Vaughn was ejected in a flurry of four technical fouls with 4:47 left in the third quarter.
The Central Division-leading Pacers closed the first quarter on a 12-0 run to take a 19-12 lead, led 42-29 at the half, and 62-44 in the third quarter after the technicals. Orlando couldn’t get closer than 12 the rest of the way.
How miserable was it?
Indiana started the game by missing its first six 3-point attempts, but Orlando missed its final 11 shots in the first quarter and barely avoided matching the franchise’s all-time low scoring total in the first half – needing a tip-in with 29.1 seconds left in the second quarter to top the 27 points they scored at Houston on Jan. 24, 2005.
There were air balls, missed dunks, missed layups – even shots off the side of the backboard.
But the worst part came during a third quarter in which the Magic looked completely inept.
Twice, Orlando was called for fouls underneath on made baskets. The first came on George Hill’s 3-pointer with 7:16 to go. Roy Hibbert completed the rare four-point play by making the free throw.
Sixty-nine seconds later, it happened again. This time, Lance Stephenson made a 19-foot jumper and Hansbrough completed the three-point play.
Then, 80 seconds after that, the officials called a double technical on Hibbert and Kyle O’Quinn, and when Vaughn walked onto the floor to argue, he was called for two more technicals and tossed.
George made both free throws to give Indiana a 60-44 lead, sealing the Magic’s fate.
Notes: Pacers coach Frank Vogel said before the game that swingman Danny Granger has increased his workload in practice and could return to game action next week. ... Hansbrough, who replaced West in the starting lineup, left at the end of the third quarter with an abdominal cramp and did not return, though team officials said he could have played. ... Orlando came into the game shooting just 33.1 percent on 3-pointers and finished Tuesday just 3 of 15 for 20 percent from beyond the arc. ... Magic G E’Twaun Moore scored eight points in his first NBA trip back to his home state.