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Hibbert’s career night helps Pacers past Magic

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Roy Hibbert scored a career-high 26 points, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 97-90 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

Hibbert, a 7-2 center, added eight rebounds and four blocks. Luther Head had 18 points and Dahntay Jones scored 13 for the Pacers, who have won two of three after losing eight straight.

Mickael Pietrus and Jameer Nelson each scored 16 for the Magic, who still lead the Southeast Division despite consecutive losses to Chicago and Indiana. Dwight Howard played with foul trouble most of the night and finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds.

The Pacers led 68-62 entering the fourth quarter and used an 8-0 run, capped by Hibbert’s 21-foot jumper, to extend their lead to 88-76 with 5 minutes left. Hibbert’s jumper over Howard to beat the shot clock a minute later helped seal the win.

Indiana, which shot 40 percent from the field and capitalized off 12 Orlando turnovers in the first half, took its biggest lead, 45-35, on Jones’ free throw late in the second quarter. Howard played less than nine minutes in the first half and scored just two points.

The Magic tied the score at 60 late in the third quarter, but the Pacers finished the period on an 8-2 run.

NOTES: Pacers All-Star swingman Danny Granger missed his 16th straight game with a torn right plantar fascia. Granger was expected to 4-6 weeks. … Pacers F Troy Murphy (left ankle), F Tyler Hansbrough (ear infection) and C Jeff Foster (sore lower back) did not play. … Orlando G Anthony Johnson played for the Pacers from 2003-06. … Indianapolis Colts players Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis were in attendance. The Colts, who dropped their final two games of the regular season after starting 14-0, have a first-round playoff bye.

© 2010 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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