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Nelson, Howard deliver as Magic get by Pacers

Nov 21, 2010 - 6:48 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard did the bulk of the fourth- quarter scoring, but it was Jameer Nelson's three-point play in the final minute that saved Orlando in a 90-86 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Howard scored the Magic's first 14 points in the final quarter, and finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds after a rough first half. Rashard Lewis made 5- of-7 three-pointers and added 21 points to help the Magic to a fourth consecutive victory.

James Posey made a three-pointer with 45.6 seconds to play to give the Pacers an 86-85 edge, but at the other end, Nelson bulled his way to the basket from the left side before pulling up for a jumper. T.J. Ford fouled him on the shot, and the free throw put the Magic up by two with 33.6 on the clock.

Posey then missed a shot from the top of the arc, and Vince Carter made two free throws to secure the win.

"We had to grind it out. It was very tough for us down the stretch to make shots, but we kept fighting," Howard said.

Roy Hibbert led Indiana with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but struggled with fouls in the second half as the Pacers ended their homestand at 1-2.

"We've got to learn to close games out," Hibbert said. "I have to learn to not make early fouls and get myself out of the ball game. It's unfortunate to sit on the bench and not be able to help when I feel my teammates need me in there. So I've got to do a better job of keeping myself in the game and not committing those fouls."

The Pacers neutralized Howard in the first half, holding him to six points on 2-of-6 shooting with a combination of Josh McRoberts and Jeff Foster. Howard also committed three fouls, and his two quarters were decidedly pedestrian in comparison to Hibbert, who finished with 17 points and six rebounds.

Hibbert's effort led the Pacers to a 52-49 edge at the break, after the lead had changed hands 17 times.

But Howard forced Hibbert into his third and fourth fouls within the first six minutes of the third quarter, and hot shooting from Lewis helped Orlando take control.

The 6-foot-10 forward connected from behind the arc on consecutive Magic possessions a few minutes into the period, and added another with 7:23 left for a 59-56 lead. Lewis scored 13 points in the quarter.

Howard then made two free throws after Hibbert's fourth foul, and the Orlando lead still stood at five, 71-66, heading into the final quarter.

Howard took over in the fourth following Hibbert's fifth, which came about two minutes in. His two foul shots with 6:57 to play gave the Magic an 82-75 advantage, but the inability of Howard's teammates to make shots allowed the Pacers to get back in the game.

Ford's jumper with 4:28 remaining ended a six-point run and made it a one- point contest. Each team missed a number of shots before Howard made 1-of-2 from the line, though Posey's two free throws evened the contest with 2:32 to play. Howard sank a jumper a little less than a minute later to end his personal rally.

Game Notes

Nelson finished with 11 points and nine assists for Orlando...The Magic scored only six second-chance points, while the Pacers totaled 24 and held a 51-42 rebounding edge...Brandon Rush led the Indiana bench with 14 points....The Pacers made only 5-of-27 three-point tries.