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Young players coming on strong for Indiana

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Indiana Pacers coach Isiah Thomas is
pleased with the maturity his young players are showing.

Al Harrington and Jermaine O'Neal, who both came to the NBA
straight from high school, led Indiana past the Orlando Magic 89-82
Wednesday night for its fourth victory in five games.

The 21-year-old Harrington scored 23 points, including 16 in the
fourth quarter, and the 23-year-old O'Neal had 20 points and 13
rebounds.

"Last year, our young guys hadn't even hit the floor at this
point," Thomas said. "Harrington, (Jeff Foster, O'Neal weren't
really playing or not with confidence. We put a lot of work into
our guys over the summer developing them every day in practice and
now they're starting to play."

Indiana outrebounded Orlando 51-35, including 17-7 at the
offensive end. Reggie Miller scored 16 points, and Jamaal Tinsley
added 11 points and nine assists.

"I think we played pretty good defense," O'Neal said. "In
order for us to be successful, we've got to play both ends of the
floor and be able to transform our defense into offense. Whenever
we do that, we've won games."

Tracy McGrady's layup at 1:30 cut Indiana's lead to 81-80, but
the Pacers outscored the Magic 8-2 the rest of the way.

Magic coach Doc Rivers was disappointed with his team's effort.

"Down the stretch they were tougher and you can't win a lot of
games that way," said Rivers, whose team is 13-17.

"Being four games under .500 at this point is not very good. We
are not playing well right now. I'm not going to sugarcoat it for
them or for you."

McGrady led Orlando with 31 points on 11-for-19 shooting after
returning from a three-game absence with a strained lower back. Pat
Garrity (10 points) was the only other Magic player in double
figures. Mike Miller was 3-for-15 from the floor for nine points,
and Andrew DeClercq was scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting.

"Anytime you hold a team below 90 points, that's what you
want," Garrity said. "You've just got to be able to score. It
didn't seem like we hit a stride when we were making big runs."

Miller, who missed 12 of his first 14 attempts, hit a 3-pointer
that pulled Orlando to 80-75 with 2:50 left in the game.
McGrady scored Orlando's next five points, and O'Neal added a free
throw to keep Indiana ahead by one.

Harrington's basket put Indiana up 83-80, but Garrity turned the
ball over, leading to a layup by Miller and an 85-80 lead with 48.8
seconds to go.

The Pacers shot 41.4 percent from the field, but made just one of
10 3-pointers. Orlando shot 39.0 percent and hit 17 of 20 free
throws.

Armstrong's jumper gave Orlando a 54-50 lead with 5:25 remaining
in the third quarter, but Indiana answered with a 7-0 run and Orlando never led again.

McGrady made seven of 13 shots to lead all scorers with 20 points in
the first half as Orlando led 44-42. He had 14 points in the second
quarter, hitting all six of his free-throw attempts. Indiana got 14
points from O'Neal and Tinsley scored nine.

Game notes
Rose missed his first nine field-goal attempts and didn't
make a shot until the 3:38 mark of the third quarter. He finished
1-for-12. ... O'Neal had five of Indiana's six blocked shots.