Pacers hold on to beat Magic

C.J. Miles is still growing into his role as a member of the Indiana Pacers’ starting unit.

Each possession, each game is a step in the process. The shooting guard took a major leap Wednesday night when he bounced back from a rough start to score 14 of his team-high 16 points after halftime and lead the Pacers over Orlando 98-88.

Plagued by foul trouble in the first half, Miles converted 4 of 5 three-pointers during the final two quarters to help the Pacers extend their winning streak to four. Miles was inserted into the starting lineup ahead of Glenn Robinson III five games ago.

“I wouldn’t say more comfortable,” Miles said. “I just feel like I’ve been able to add to that group what the coaching staff moved me for. They needed more space, not that (Robinson) isn’t a threat.”

Miles knocked down timely three-pointers in the second half to keep the Magic from making a comeback after several threats. His 3-pointer with 1:37 to play effectively sealed the win for the Pacers after Orlando had moved within 93-88 on two free throws by Nikola Vucevic.

His ability to knock down three-pointers opened up the floor for power forward Thaddeus Young to do damage with mid-range jumpers and for point guard Jeff Teague to cause problems on the interior driving the ball to the basket.

“C.J. got in some foul trouble early, didn’t drop his head, missed most of the first half,” said Pacers coach Nate McMillan, whose team won consecutive road games for the first time this season. “He was able to knock down some shots and get a rhythm coming in in the second half.”

The win was significant because it came on a night when star player Paul George was off his game. After scoring 30 or more points in each of the Pacers last four games, George had just eight points while shooting just 3 of 14 from field.

Robinson came off the bench to score 14 points, while Young had 12 points and Teague added 13 points and nine assists.