ORLANDO- On a cool night outside the Amway Arena, inside it was different for the home team. While the temps outside were chilly the Magic were hot as they downed the visiting Pacers by a score of 107-100.
Terrance Ross had Career-high 30-points coming off the bench and D.J Augustin had a solid game adding 20-points to effort in the win that snapped a four-game Magic losing streak. But the story of the night for Orlando belonged to Nikola Vucevic.
He became the first Magic player since Dwight Howard in 2012 to represent the team as a member of the starting Eastern Conference All-Star squad.
Vucevic finished the night with a solid effort 17 points with 10 rebounds. The performance also earned the All-Star an ice bath from teammates in celebration after a win.
Joining Vucevic on the All-Star team will be the Magic’s center Nikola Vucevic, who learned that he was going to be a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-star team moments before the National anthem. Overall this was a great night for Orlando, a win and learning they had two members of the All-Star team.
Unfortunate for the Indiana Pacers, their All-star player; or the “heartbeat of the team” as teammates described; will not participate in the 2019 All-Star games. Victor Oladipo is out for the remainder of the season after going down during a win over the Raptors on Jan. 23rd. Oladipo went under the needle earlier today with a successful surgery on his ruptured quad tendon in his right knee and is in high spirits and staying positive of his return next season.
The Pacers have yet to win a game since the absence of their All-Star despite the efforts from Myles Turner who was 10-16 FGA and finished the game with 27 points. Starter Darren Collision scored 16 points with 10 assists and when questioned about the Pacers first loss to the Magic in almost five years he stated: “We have to figure out a way to get out of this slump.” Head coach of the Pacers Nate McMillian commented: “We’re not panicking, even though it seems like everybody else is.” The Pacers need a moment to regroup after the loss of Victor Oladipo but are staying positive.
The Magic continue to hang on to hopes of still making it into the playoffs after defeating the 4th ranked team in the eastern conference. The team will have little time to celebrate as they play host to a sometimes dangerous Brooklyn team Saturday. Meanwhile, Indiana will finish their tour of the Sunshine State with their own Saturday night showdown in Miami against the Heat.