Pacers win third straight, move into sole possession of seventh seed


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Paul George scored 37 points and Myles Turner added 23 points and 10 rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers move a step closer to a playoff berth with a 127-112 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

The Pacers pulled a game ahead of Chicago for seventh place in the Eastern Conference and climbed back to .500 with their third straight victory.

Terrence Ross had 29 points for the Magic, while Evan Fournier had 23 and Aaron Gordon added 17. Orlando has lost six of its last seven.

Elfrid Payton had 10 points and 10 assists, but Orlando’s perimeter game was no match for the Pacers’ strength around the basket.

Indiana’s starting frontcourt of George, Thaddeus Young and Turner was a combined 20 of 24 (83.3 percent) in the first half, when the Pacers took a 68-59 lead.

Gordon and Ross helped the Magic cut the deficit to 84-80 with just under 4 minutes left in the third quarter, but that was as close as Orlando would get in the second half.

Indiana nailed three 3-pointers and got a three-point play from Kevin Seraphin to close the quarter on a 15-2 run. When CJ Miles hit another 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter, the Pacers’ lead was 102-82 and the issue was decided.


Pacers: Indiana had lost eight straight road games by an average of 11.9 points before beating Orlando. . The Pacers have won six straight road games in Orlando. . Young is averaging 14.6 points in the last six games. . The Pacers outscored the Magic 38-20 in the paint in the first half and 64-38 for the game.

Magic: Payton is averaging 15.2 points, 10.6 assists and 6.6 rebounds in the last five games. . Gordon is averaging 21.1 points and 9.2 rebounds in the same stretch. . Orlando shot only 41.1 percent in its meetings with Indiana this season.