The frustration is over for 19-year-old Al Harrington, who spent most of his rookie season watching the Indiana Pacers play.
Harrington, who scored only 45 points in 21 games as a rookie coming out of high school last season, has opened his second season by coming off the bench to score in double figures in all five games this month.
He had 17 of his career-high 19 points in the fourth quarter to help Indiana top the Orlando Magic 116-101 Thursday night.
The Pacers broke open a close game in the second half, shooting 67 percent (20-of-30) from the field. For the game, Indiana shot a season-high 57 percent from the field.
"Last year was frustrating. That's all I can say about that," Harrington said. "I learned a lot by me sitting and watching, it really helped me and it's showing now."
Said Darrell Armstrong, who scored 22 points for Orlando: "He played well. He played hard. That's all you can ask for from a young guy. He made plays. He didn't make too many mistakes. I think he did a great job. I think he's the one who really turned the energy up for them."
"That's my job, to come in and bring energy and play defense," sad Harrington, who was 6-of-8 from the field.
The game was tied 10 times and there were eight lead changes before Indiana moved ahead to stay 62-60 on a hook shot by Rik Smits.
The Pacers led by as many as nine points in the third quarter and took their first double-digit lead as Orlando went nearly three minutes without scoring to start the fourth quarter.
A 3-pointer by Miller ignited a 14-3 run by Indiana to start the final period. Harrington had seven points in the run. Orlando's only points came on a 3-pointer by Chucky Atkins with 9:16 to play.
With Harrington leading the way, the Pacers went on to lead 99-82 with 6:39 to play. Orlando, which had won three straight, never got back into contention and trailed by as many as 21.
"He reminds me a lot of Bernard King because of the way he plays," Orlando coach Doc Rivers said of Harrington. "They're treating him like Bernard too, where they threw it to him on the wings and he would attack. Obviously he's not as polished as Bernard. If he can improve as much as he did from last year, he'll be an All-Star soon."
The Pacers shot 9-of-17 shots from 3-point range.
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