INDIANAPOLIS — Two nights earlier, the Orlando Magic played with little energy and even less focus. And they lost to a sub-.500 team.
Dwight Howard and the Magic's 3-point shooters weren't about to let that happen again.
Not Wednesday night, anyway.
With Howard setting the tone early and the perimeter players making their shots throughout, the Magic swamped the Indiana Pacers early, middle and late en route to a comfortable 111-96 victory at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Howard finished with 19 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.
His teammates made 16 of their 34 3-point attempts, with Jason Richardson and Ryan Anderson hitting four apiece.
Richardson scored 19 points. Hedo Turkoglu had 18.
Howard scored eight of his team's first 12 points and blocked two shots in the first quarter — effectively taking Pacers center Roy Hibbert out of his comfort zone just after the opening tip.
There's a rowdy section of the Conseco Fieldhouse stands called "Area 55," a reference to Hibbert's jersey number. But they didn't have much to cheer about Wednesday.
Hibbert finished with just four points in just under 15 minutes.
Howard backed in on the Magic's opening offensive possession, pushing Hibbert backward, and freed himself for a thunderous dunk.
After Jameer Nelson hit a jumper on the next Orlando possession, Howard maneuvered around Hibbert for an easy layup.
"You've got a new Area 55 tonight!" a player on the Magic bench yelled. "How about Area 12?"
Hibbert picked up his second foul with 4:58 left in the first quarter.
But the Magic (30-16) didn't take control until early in the second quarter.
Ahead 26-24 with 11:28 to go until halftime, J.J. Redick swung a pass around the perimeter to a wide-open Anderson, who drained a 3-pointer.
Anderson's trey ignited a 19-6 run fueled by their long-range shooting.
Gilbert Arenas and Richardson each made a 3-pointer. And Anderson made two more from beyond the arc.
The Pacers didn't draw to within single digits again until Paul George hit an outside shot with 10:51 remaining in regulation to close the gap to 86-77.