NBA

The Streaking Pacers are aiming for a two-game sweep

The Streaking Pacers are aiming for a two-game sweep

the red one Indiana Pacers will be looking to extend their current winning streak to five games and look for a second straight win over the Orlando Magic Monday in Indianapolis.

The same two teams played on Saturday, with Indiana edging Orlando for its sixth win in the last seven games, 114-113.

Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner posted double-doubles in the win, Haliburton with 22 points and 14 assists and Turner with 20 points and 11 rebounds. The duo helped lead Indiana to its fourth single-digit win in the month of November.

“We’re going through this together for the first time, but it happens time and time again where we’re in tight games,” Haliburton said in his postgame press conference. “You have to figure it out together as you go, and we grow together as a group.”

The Pacers also continued to show their depth with the reserve duo of Aaron Nesmith and Bennedict Mathurin scoring 19 and 12 points, respectively.

On the season, Mathurin is Indiana’s second leading scorer at 19.1 points per game, trailing only Haliburton’s 20.6 points per game. Mathurin has come off the bench in all 15 games.

“We’ve got a young team, but … we’re pretty quick to find ways to win,” Mathurin told Bally Sports after Saturday’s win. “Which is a great thing. He plays every game like it’s his last, so we’re trying to win every game.”

Indiana overcame three 20-plus scoring efforts from Orlando’s Franz Wagner (29 points), Bol Bol (22 points) and Mo Bamba (21 points) in Saturday’s win, which was the Magic’s third loss in the last four games.

Orlando was playing the second game of a back-to-back on Saturday, the second game of a short three-game swing that began Friday with a thrilling win at Chicago.

After giving up a 19-point lead to the Bulls, the Magic rallied in the final minute to set the stage for Jalen Suggs’ game-winning triple.

Orlando nearly pulled off another win in the closing seconds Saturday, but both Wagner and Bol missed looks at the rim.

“We drew the play like that,” Bol said of the final sequence to open Wagner. Bol got the rebound and had another attempt that fell short. “It was a good comb,” he said.

Wendell Carter Jr., who played Friday against the Bulls, missed Saturday’s game with a foot injury. Gary Harris also sat against the Pacers after contributing seven points in 24 minutes in Chicago.

The absences compounded Orlando’s season-long personnel problems, which are without first overall draft pick Paolo Banchero due to an ankle injury.

Banchero, who is averaging 23.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, last played on Nov. 7. The Orlando Sentinel reports that he will miss another seven to 10 days.

“A lot of guys stepped up tonight. It’s the next man up mentality,” Wagner said in his postgame news conference about Orlando’s injury-riddled game. “I think we have great team chemistry and the guys are ready to play. The lineups change a little bit, but everyone is always committed to practice and everyone knows what they’re supposed to do.”

–Media at the field level

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