May 5, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Members of the Indiana Pacers celebrate after defeating the Orlando Magic 101-99 in overtime of game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
The Indiana Pacers can eliminate the Orlando Magic at home on Tuesday night.
In Game 1 of their series against the Indiana Pacers and in the fourth quarter of Game 4, the Orlando Magic gave their fans hope that they are capable of winning a series without Dwight Howard. Down by 12 points to start the fourth quarter, the Magic clawed their way back into the game. David West cooled off while J.J. Redick and Glen Davis played like world beaters for a quarter. Redick hit a three-pointer with 38 seconds remaining in the game to force overtime, giving Orlando life in the series.
Five minutes of game time later, the Magic lost to go down 3-1 in the series. The Pacers, who had fallen asleep in the fourth quarter while content with their 12-point lead, woke up in overtime. George Hill scored six points in the final 1:20, including the game-winning free throws that he sank after drawing a foul with just two seconds remaining. The Magic's impressive comeback was all for nothing at the end of the game.
Down 3-1, with the series heading to Indiana on Tuesday night, the Magic are faced with the sobering reality that they're just not very good without Dwight Howard. Glen Davis and Ryan Anderson do not match up well against Roy Hibbert and David West. The Magic thrive on three-point shots, but when there's no one worth double teaming down low, there aren't that many wide-open threes available.
If Orlando can win Game 5, they have a way back into the series, but they're very big underdogs on Tuesday night. They were 16-17 on the road while playing with Howard for most of the regular season, and based on the way they've played in the last three games, their Game 1 win in Indianapolis seems like it happened too long ago to be relevant.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: NBA TV