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Down 2-1 to Pacers, Magic looking for energy boost

Associated Press Modified: May 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm •  Published: May 3, 2012
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy walked into the Magic's practice session Thursday toting an armload of statistics to illustrate why they've lost two straight games and fallen into a 2-1 series hole against Indiana.

But Van Gundy knows simply harping on numbers the next two days won't be enough to pull his team out of its funk in time for Game 4.

"Our point today wasn't really on adjustments or anything...I wanted them to see it," he said. "I mean the numbers say one thing, but to watch it on film and to see what we're talking about, because the mindsets gotta change, the disposition's gotta change, the energy's got to change.

"And then from there you can make adjustments."

After squandering a late-game lead in Game 1, the Pacers have won two straight by owning the first and third quarters of play.

On Wednesday night in a 97-74 win, they outscored the Magic 32-17 in the third quarter, running their edge in that period for the series to 81-43. In the first quarter that advantage is 69-56.

Indiana also holds a 45-7 edge in fast-break scoring, including a 40-2 mark the past two games.

All that, combined with the Pacers shutting down forward Ryan Anderson as an offensive asset, has found a way to filter through the Magic's rotation and sap the overall energy output on both ends.

Van Gundy said that "everything is on the table" when it comes to possibly shuffling his starting lineup. But even though he credits the Magic's bench for keeping them in games during the first half of the past two losses, that even that unit has been thoroughly handled by Indiana's starters as well.

Orlando co-captain Jameer Nelson said having to address the energy question at all is disappointing, no matter what facets of the game Indiana is taking away from them.

"Film never lies," he said. "And things that we saw today and talked about, that we shouldn't be talking about at this time of year is our energy level has to go up.

"Actually we haven't been trying as much as we should have been. All the things they're doing, they're a great team. They're getting out in the passing lane, getting steals, getting offensive rebounds and all that stuff."

Anderson came into the postseason averaging 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds, making him the Magic's leader in both categories with Dwight Howard out for the season following back surgery. Through three playoff games he's averaging 7.6 points.

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