Skip to main content

Indiana Pacers remain perfect in 2023 Summer League play after victory over Orlando Magic

The Pacers are 2-0 in Las Vegas so far
  • Author:
  • Updated:

LAS VEGAS — The Indiana Pacers took down the Orlando Magic in their second outing of Summer League play.

The Magic are a more talented team than the Washington Wizards group that the Pacers battled on Saturday, especially on the defensive end. Early in the game, both teams were showing more on the less glamorous side of the court, and neither team shot better than 40% in the first quarter. That benefitted Indiana, who made a few more shots than Orlando and were up six early.

Just like the blue and gold did in their first Summer League win, they dominated to start the second frame. They went on a 12-1 run to break the game open, and Bennedict Mathurin was the catalyst behind the run. He scored twice and had one assist during the stretch.

Indiana rolled through the rest of the quarter and led 57-34 at halftime. Their second quarter was excellent, and guard Andrew Nembhard looked terrific for the second game in a row.

"I think it's just good for me to keep getting reps," Nembhard said after the game. He is enjoying the chance to play more point guard after being off the ball more as a rookie.

Against Washington over the weekend, Indiana had a terrible stretch to open the third quarter. It was their worst portion of the game, and they gave away a big halftime lead. They were hoping to avoid that in game two.

While they weren't perfect to open the third quarter Monday, the Pacers were good enough to not give away their lead this time around. Some impressive buckets from Mathurin and Jarace Walker kept Orlando at arms length, and the Pacers were up 16 heading into the final fourth of the game.

"We have one goal. We just want to compete and play hard," Pacers Summer League head coach Jannero Pargo said of the games in Vegas.

Mojave King started off the fourth quarter with a few nice plays, and the blue and gold hardly looked pressured by anything the Magic were doing. Oscar Tshiebwe was effective on the glass, and the more-talented Pacers maintained their double-digit lead.

That was enough to hold their advantage, and Indiana put the game away. In the end, the final score was 108-85. The Pacers are now 2-0 in Summer League play.

"I think the first game, our defensive struggles [were] in large part due to our offense... our offense matched that [defensive] effort and made for a great game," Pargo said after the game when discussing the improvements from game one to game two.

Nembhard was a standout performer for the Pacers. He finished with 21 points, seven assists, and three steals to guide his team, and his pace control was fantastic. Indiana won his minutes by 21 points.

Returning players Mathurin and Isaiah Jackson both were solid. Mathurin had 17 points and six assists while Jackson had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Walker continued his great Summer League play with 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists. He has shown exactly why the Pacers drafted him with his play on both ends of the court. His teammates have been impressed with his start to the exhibitions.

Tshiebwe (eight rebounds) and first-round pick Ben Sheppard (16 points and nine rebounds) both found ways to contribute as well. It was a team effort for the Pacers.

"I think with rookies... every game you're getting more and more comfortable," Nembhard said of Sheppard. "I think he does a great job of inserting himself into the game on the defensive end, getting rebounds. And then letting the game come to him on offense,"

The Pacers next take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, but the team could look different. Jackson and Nembhard said that they are done playing games for the Summer League Pacers, and it's fair to assume that Mathurin is done as well. Indiana will be relying on its depth going forward.

  • Tyrese Haliburton commits to people. Now, he's committed to the Indiana Pacers. CLICK HERE.
  • Bruce Brown can be whatever the Indiana Pacers need him to be. CLICK HERE.
  • Obi Toppin discusses joining the Indiana Pacers, how he will fit in, and more. CLICK HERE.
  • Indiana Pacers wing Chris Duarte officially traded to Sacramento Kings for two second-round draft picks. CLICK HERE.
  • Follow AllPacers on Facebook: All Pacers SI
  • Follow AllPacers on Twitter: @SIPacers