INDIANAPOLIS — During the first two and a half quarters Tuesday night, Jacque Vaughn saw
Vaughn couldn't hold in his frustration any longer.
When one of his rookies was whistled for a questionable technical foul, Vaughn complained to the referees. Vaughn earned the first and second technical fouls of his head-coaching career, resulting in automatic ejection.
But not even Vaughn's uncharacteristic outburst could snap the Magic out of their offensive funk. Facing a suffocating defense keyed by
"I guess it was just an accumulation of the game," Vaughn said afterward. "I got a player who was hit in the mouth. It's just part of the game. I'm not going to lose any more money, but [it was] a tough game."
Vaughn became upset when referees whistled rookie
From Vaughn's perspective, it appeared that O'Quinn had established inside position in the lane and that Hibbert had initiated the contact.
When a ref called a tech on O'Quinn, Vaughn sprung from his seat on the Magic bench, clapped once and yelled, "For what?"
Vaughn walked to the midcourt line and onto the floor.
"John!" he yelled to referee John Goble. "Call the first one!"
That resulted in Vaughn's first technical.
He repeated, "Call the first one!" four more times, and when he wouldn't return to the Magic bench, referee David Jones whistled him for a second technical.
Afterward, in the Magic locker room, O'Quinn said he and Hibbert had gotten tangled up on the play.
"I didn't want to throw my arms, so I tried to protect myself and protect him at the same time," O'Quinn said. "I guess the ref didn't see it that way, so he called a tech. Coach Vaughn saw what I was trying to do, so that's what fired him up."
Entering Tuesday, Vaughn and the
"He was sticking up for us," Magic point guard
The Pacers (42-26) continued to dominate the Magic (18-50) after Vaughn left the floor.
Pacers power forward
His energy, and his uncanny ability to get under opponents' skin, set the tone for the night.
And it was an ugly night for the Magic, who scored a season-low 29 points in the first half and saw their starters shoot 16 for 63 from the field.
The Pacers began the evening with the
Hibbert blocked only one shot, but his presence — all 7 feet, 2 inches of him — altered one Magic shot after another.
"They outplayed us," Nelson said. "One through however many we have on our team, they outplayed us."
Vaughn watched the final 17 minutes from his office in the visitors' locker room.
"I don't think I'm the first coach to ever get kicked out of a game," Vaughn calmly said after the final buzzer. "It's not a big deal."
To him, the loss felt worse than the ejection.