ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Orlando's last-second victory over Western Conference leader Oklahoma City on Friday had the potential to be a season highlight for a team seemingly already holding a one-way ticket to the lottery.
It turns out the Magic weren't quite done turning heads.
Victor Oladipo had 23 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, and the Magic rallied to surprise East-leading Indiana Pacers 93-92 on Sunday night.
Indiana stole Orlando's inbounds pass with nine seconds left and Paul George was able to get off a 20-foot jumper. But it came up short and was rebounded by the Magic, who ran out the clock.
"Today going into the fourth quarter (coach Jacque Vaughn) just simply told us whoever plays hard is going to win the game. 'If you really want to win you'll play harder than them,'" said Oladipo, who played the entire fourth quarter for the second consecutive game. "That second unit played hard, played together, and most of all we just played D, let our defense juice our offense."
Orlando has now beaten the top teams in both conferences in back-to-back games, following its 17-point comeback against the Thunder. The victory ties the Magic's season-high win streak of three games. It also extends their home win streak to five consecutive games.
Nik Vucevic added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Vaughn praised the energy that Oladipo played with late.
"It starts with his enthusiasm for basketball, and it's really infectious to his teammates," Vaughn said. "They want to play for him, they want to play with him and I'm sure glad he's in a Magic uniform."
Before the game, Pacers coach Frank Vogel said that he didn't think his team was taking any games for granted prior to the All-Star break. He went as far as to recite Chuck Daly's old line to "never trust happiness in the NBA."
There wasn't much Sunday as the Pacers had multiple defensive lapses in both halves which helped the Magic to hang around and eventually steal the game late.
George led the Pacers with 27 points. Lance Stephenson added 16. The loss ends Indiana's win streak at four games.
Vogel said his team's inability to stave off a third quarter push by the Magic was the difference.
"They picked up their energy," he said. "We've got to handle it. There was a stretch there in the third where we could have put them away. We were a little careless with some possessions ... and it was costly."