Despite synthesizing a furious comeback to take the first-round game against Indiana into overtime, the Orlando Magic failed to obtain the victory, as the Pacers survived and take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.
The Magic found themselves down nearly 20 points in the fourth quarter but didn't get discouraged and rallied back to stay competitive in the exhibition match by producing a 14-0 run lead by sharpshooter J.J. Redick and bruiser Glen Davis. Redick would go on to hit a game-tying three to send the game to overtime with 38.7 seconds left on the clock.
The Pacers, however, dominated early overtime action behind established veteran David West, as the team hit six straight points. But, the Magic battled back, like the roster did numerous times in this thrilling game, to tie the game.
The Magic's winning aspirations took a major hit when point guard Jameer Nelson fouled the opposing George Hill, who would knock down two free throws with 2.2 seconds left, and were shattered when Davis missed a buzzer-beating, game-tying eight-foot jumper.
For Indiana, Danny Granger, David West and George Hill shined throughout Saturday afternoon's action. The trio combined for 57 points against the Howard-less Magic.
The Magic, on the other hand, received major contributions from J.J. Redick, Glen Davis and Jason Richardson. All three proved capable of competing against the lanky Pacers and were efficient in the clutch.
Though Indiana possesses a nearly insurmountable lead in the best-of-seven series, fans, media, and especially the Pacers, should not count out this undersized squad, as the Magic showed true grit and determination in their devastating loss.
Sure, the last team to advance after being down 3-1 in a series was the Phoenix Suns in 2006 against the Los Angeles Lakers, but this Orlando team knows how to take on adversity due to the Dwight Howard debacle that marred this year's season.
Let's recap Game 4 from Orlando.
Hoopsworlds' Alex Kennedy praises the former New Orleans Hornets star David West:
David West is dominating right now. Nobody on the Magic can slow him down. If you missed it, here's my column on West: bit.ly/LdovDX— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 5, 2012
Pacers beat writer Mike Wells gets excited after Redick and Hansbrough exchange words and shoves:
Some Carolina-Duke action. Redick tries to push Hansbrough. Redick gets the tech and of course Hansbrough barely moved off JJ's tap.— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNBA) May 5, 2012
OrlandoMagic.com writer John Denton shares the feelings of J.J. Redick after the loss:
#Magic JJ Redick, who hit game-tying 3-pointer with 38 sec in reg: "The emotions now are devastation. It hurts to lose a game like that.'"— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) May 5, 2012
Barbosa hits a tremendous three-point-and-one. However, he would miss the free throw.
Redick hits a game-tying three in the clutch:
Grades for Indiana
David West: A
West proved, once again, too strong and talented for this small Orlando Magic team to handle. His refined post-game was deadly, as he provided solid scoring in the clutch.
The former All-Star finished with 26 points, including four in overtime and 12 rebounds.
Danny Granger: B+
While not the most efficient game, Danny Granger contributed 21 points, off 9-of-20 shooting from the field and seven rebounds in 42 minutes of action.
Despite being sidelined in the third quarter due to a knee sprain, Granger battled back on to the court and helped the Pacers bury the Magic in the closing minutes.
Roy Hibbert: A-
Finally first-time All-Star Roy Hibbert capitalized on the absence of Dwight Howard in the middle. The 7'2" behemoth used his massive size advantage to record 14 points and 11 rebounds.
His best contributions came on the defensive side of the ball, as Hibbert swatted three shots and was a dominant presence in the middle.
Grades for Orlando
Glen Davis: A
Davis has simply played incredible this series. Despite going up against the tallest starting center in this year's playoffs in Roy Hibbert, the 6'8" traditional power forward has been a force to be reckon with.
In Saturday's Game 4, Davis ended with a double-double. The former LSU star put up 24 points and grabbed 11 boards.
J.J. Redick: B+
While Redick did not record monstrous statistics, as he only scored 10 points, he did bring a spark off the bench. The fact that most of Orlando's runs featured the 6'4" shooting guard is a perfect testament to that.
In addition, Redick hit the biggest shot of this season for Orlando to send the game to overtime.
Game MVP: David West
West's dominant play propelled the team to a huge win.
Orlando will fight to avoid elimination when they take on the Pacers in Game 5 on Tuesday, May 8th, at 7:00 p.m. ET.