INDIANAPOLIS — The way experts talked about the first-round playoff series between the
, you would've thought the Magic had no chance without Dwight Howard.
The Magic silenced that talk Saturday night.
Trailing by seven points late in regulation, they scored 11 unanswered points and pulled out a stunning 81-77 upset in Game 1 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"We all we got," said
, repeating the phrase the team adopted as its motto.
"Nobody believed in us. Nobody. All the
analysts, all the sportswriters. In the eyes of the basketball world, nobody thought we have a chance in this series, of course, without Dwight."
It sure looked bleak in the fourth quarter. Orlando went almost five consecutive minutes without scoring a point, and after the teams traded baskets, Indiana took a 77-70 lead with 4:05 to go.
Who knew then the Pacers wouldn't score again?
ignited the 11-0 run when he made a difficult fadeaway jumper. Then, with
both setting screens, Richardson followed with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 77-75.
missed a pair of foul shots, Richardson ran around a screen by Anderson to sink another trey that put Orlando ahead 78-77 with 1:04 to go.
The Magic never trailed again.
brought his teammates together during a break and repeated the mantra: "We all we got! We all we got! We all we got!"
"We've been through so much this year as a group and we fought through so much negativity," Anderson said afterward. "Ultimately, we've had to have each others' backs, and this group right here really has. It's fun playing knowing guys on the bench are really cheering you on."
The Pacers have themselves to blame. Down 78-77, Granger missed a 2-footer off the glass. In all, the Pacers missed their final nine shot attempts, went just 13 for 22 from the line and shot just 34.5 percent overall from the field.
Game 2 is scheduled for Monday night.
"In my opinion," Indiana's
said, "this next game is a must-win."
The Magic received gritty performances up and down their lineup.
Jason Richardson scored 17 points. Jameer Nelson added 17 points and nine assists.
And Glen Davis, who played 41 minutes on a sprained right ankle, contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Afterward, Davis sat at his locker-room stall with both feet in a bucket filled with ice water.
"We're excited about what we did and what we accomplished, and that is coming in here and making the first move, and that's big," Davis said.
"If you want to go far, you can't go alone. You've got to go together."
They did that.
, playing on a sore left knee, blocked four shots and grabbed nine rebounds in just under 20 minutes.
started at small forward three weeks after he underwent surgery to repair a broken cheekbone and scored seven of Orlando's first nine points.
The Magic needed all those contributions.
The Pacers have more depth and more height.
, the 7-foot-2 beanpole center, scored eight points, collected 13 rebounds and blocked nine shots.
"With the group of guys we have right now, we've been playing a lot harder and trying to eliminate as many mistakes as we can," Nelson said. "One thing is, we don't have our best player, which is very unfortunate. When Dwight's out there, we make a lot of mistakes and he erases them."
The Magic didn't need Howard.
"I think everybody pulled together, and we really fought hard," Quentin Richardson said. "We were down, and J-Rich made two unbelievable shots. The whole night, we had to fight."