Vince Carter played very well, and was open throughout the whole game pretty much. The veteran Orlando Magic shooting guard/small forward scored 25 points as the Magic improved to 2-0, dropping the now 0-2 Indiana Pacers 93-86 at Conseco Fieldhouse.
I really don’t mind the Pacers losing right now. I mean, come on, it’s the pre-season.
Carter was six-of-eight in three-pointers and showed how valuable he was to this Magic squad.
“It’s always a great feeling that you can contribute to the team like that,” the 13th-year guard said. “The one beautiful thing about the way our team, and the way our team is built is we have so many weapons. One of my focuses for this year is knocking down open shots. It’s just all about repetition and shooting, and that’s what I’ve done.”
Ryan Anderson had ten points along with 16 rebounds while Dwight Howard went for ten points and ten boards.
Howard enjoyed Carter’s performance last night.
“He was the only one making shots,” Howard said. “He did an excellent job. He shot the ball with confidence, and we kept looking for him and we’re happy. That’s what we want from Vince.”
Darren Collison, in his debut at Conesco Fieldhouse, scored 18 points. With this performance, I have a sense of good things to come from the young point guard this season.
Power forward Tyler Hansbrough had nine points in 19 minutes, playing pretty decent after missing much of last season with a severe ear infection.
“He played with energy, which you can always expect from Tyler,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “As he gets more and more time, he’ll get more comfortable out there.”
Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert each contributed for twelve points. They both had ten by halftime.
Carter started getting his three-pointers down when the Magic took a 54-51 lead. After that, Carter took control and the game was pretty much over from there.
“I just thought that the first half, both of our exhibition games, I’ve been a little disappointed that we didn’t come into the game in the first quarter with a defensive mentality,” Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Our message at halftime was that we had to play better defense. I thought our defense in the third quarter was much more intense, much, much better.”
Point guard A.J. Price had 15 points. Lance Stephenson, who had an arrest about a month ago or so, scored six points. Paul George was one-of-eight on shooting with three points. Let’s hope the rookie can fix that.
Collison showed what the Pacers fans want. Got to love that!
“I’m starting to feel more and more comfortable with each practice and with my new team,” he said. “Right now, we’re just learning each other as a team, and I think we’ll be ready for the season.”
T.J. Ford sat out the game with a hamstring injury while Jeff Foster filled in for Josh McRoberts at power forward in the second half as McRoberts had sore neck. McRoberts also had a technical foul in the game, too.