The scene shifts to Central Florida on Wednesday when the Indiana Pacers square off with the Orlando Magic in the pivotal Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.
The heavily-favored Pacers found their sea legs on Monday, evening the series with an impressive 93-78 Game 2 win. Danny Granger, David West and George Hill all netted 18 points and an elongated run in the early stages of the third quarter helped Indiana down the short-handed Magic.
"[West's] providing our team with the necessary swagger to get a playoff win," Indiana head coach Frank Vogel, who finished third in the NBA's Coach of the Year voting announced on Tuesday, said. "He's just dialed in. He is a playoff- tested veteran."
Paul George added 17 points and eight rebounds, while Roy Hibbert finished with 13 boards for the Pacers, who evened the best-of-seven series at one apiece.
Glen Davis, the replacement for injured All-Star Dwight Howard in the middle, had 18 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Magic, who shot just 35.5 percent from the floor.
"A gutsy type of playoff win," Vogel said. "Holding them to 35 percent shooting is a very strong effort. They're a challenging team to guard."
J.J. Redick added 13 points off the bench for Orlando while Jameer Nelson contributed 12 points and Ryan Anderson added 11 on 3-for-9 shooting.
Trailing 50-45 early in the third quarter, the Pacers surged ahead following an extended 25-5 burst. Using its size and length on the interior, Indiana, behind West and Hibbert, outrebounded Orlando 14-0 during the stretch.
"Our starters our coming out with nothing in the third quarter," Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy said of his team's effort in the third stanza. "They dominated us on the glass."
On Saturday, the Magic netted the game's final 11 points and prevented Indiana from scoring in the final 4:05 to steal the contest, 81-77.
Howard, the reigning three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is sidelined after season-ending back surgery.
Anderson, a candidate for the NBA's most improved player, has scored just 16 points in the first two games of this series and must produce, especially from long range, for the Magic offense to succeed.
"Obviously we want to go back home and play off the momentum of the crowd," Anderson said. "We know that we can play better and play harder."
The Pacers, who finished behind top-seeded Chicago in the Central Division, haven't moved past the first round of the playoffs since 2005. They've met the Magic twice in the postseason, the last time in 1995 with the Magic winning in seven games in the East finals.
Game 4 of the series is Saturday, also in Orlando.