Holly MacKenzie – Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Paul George drilled a corner 3-pointer to give the Pacers a 13-point lead with 54 seconds remaining to seal an improbable comeback. Thanks to a hot-shooting second half, the Pacers came back from a19-point second quarter deficit to pick up a 108-90 victory. The Raptors will head to Detroit where they will take on the Pistons on Wednesday night.
OPENING WITH DEFENCE
Toronto got off to a great start on the road, opening the game with a strong defensive effort. The Raptors held Indiana to just 18 points on 25 percent shooting in the first quarter, while making 50 percent of their field goals to hold an eight-point lead after the opening 12 minutes. The Raptors also dominated the glass, holding a 14-8 edge in rebounds where Serge Ibaka led the way with five boards. Toronto’s scoring was well-distributed with DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph scoring six points apiece, while Paul George led the Pacers with seven points and Jeff Teague added six points.
BENCH HOLDING COURT/h4>
Toronto continued to shoot 50 percent, while the Pacers jumped from 25 percent in the first to 47 percent in the second quarter. With a back-to-back in Detroit looming, Dwane Casey went to his bench early and they responded. P.J. Tucker scored seven points in the quarter while Jakob Poeltl added six points, three rebounds and a blocked shot as the bench scored 19 of Toronto’s 25 points to give the Raptors an 11-point halftime lead. Toronto’s largest lead in the quarter was 19 points. DeMarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas led Toronto offensively with eight points apiece in the half. Paul George led all scorers with 11 points.
The Indiana team that emerged from the locker room to start the second half looked like a different team than the one that trailed by 11 at the break. The Pacers were red-hot in the third, shooting 52 percent from the floor as they exploded for 37 points. Toronto struggled to start the third, missing seven of their first eight field goal attempts. Indiana shot 5-for-6 from beyond the arc in the quarter while Toronto went scoreless from deep in five attempts. DeMar DeRozan and Paul George went head-to-head in the quarter, DeRozan scoring 20 points and George 18 points in the third. Thanks to some ridiculously hot shooting, the Pacers turned an 11-point deficit into a two-point lead heading into the fourth.
Things continued to roll for the Pacers in the fourth just as Toronto’s offence fell apart. Indiana shot 52 percent from the floor while the Raptors had their worst shooting quarter of the game, making just 7-of-19 field goals to shoot 37 percent. Indiana outscored Toronto 31-15 in the fourth, led by 12 points from Lance Stephenson who nearly matched Toronto’s team total. The Pacers dominated the boards down the stretch, outrebounding Toronto 15-7 as they not only completed a comeback, but turned a 19-point second quarter deficit into an 18-point victory.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 27 points in the loss. He played 40 minutes, shooting 9-of-21 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free throw line while adding three rebounds, two assists and three steals. When the rest of the team was struggling in the third, DeRozan kept the Raptors close with a 20-point effort.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Jonas Valanciunas had another double-double, this time with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. He shot 4-for-6 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Valanciunas also added two assists and a blocked shot.
THAT’S A RAP…
“We didn’t come out with the right approach in the third quarter. Giving up 37-point quarter, the three-ball, I think they were 9-for-12 in the second half and that’s the power of the three. You let a team like that get feeling good about themselves and that’s what happens.”
– Dwane Casey on the Pacers turning the game around
BY THE #’S
14… Turnovers for the Raptors leading to 15 points scored by Indiana. The Pacers turned the ball over 11 times leading to eight points scored by the Raptors.
22… Percent shooting for the Raptors from three compared to 48 percent shooting from three for the Pacers. Toronto shot 5-for-23 from deep while Indiana shot 12-for-25 from beyond the arc.
16… Assists for the Pacers compared to just 11 for Toronto.
35… Points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals for Paul George in 40 minutes for Indiana.
THEY SAID IT…
“They came out more disciplined. You could tell that they were fighting for something. They came out aggressive and they caught a rhythm and they ran with it.”
– DeMar DeRozan on the third quarter
“I think the first few possessions of the second half, they turned up the heat and we made some ill-advised passes and ill-advised plays and we weren’t playing with the force we needed to in the third quarter.”
– Dwane Casey on the turning point in the game
“They came out the more desperate team and you could see that they were fighting for something other than just this game. They showed it in the second half.”
– DeMar DeRozan on the difference in the second half
“We came out soft and with no energy. They came out and made shots, played hard and we didn’t. We need to come out with more energy. They attacked us and we didn’t respond. PG [Paul George] heated up and got them on a roll, and when he’s aggressive, they get more aggressive. We had poor execution. We had a lot of late shot clock situations and any time you have late shot clock possessions, you’re going to struggle.”
– P.J. Tucker on the difference in the second half
The Raptors immediately head to Detroit where they will take on the Pistons in a back-to-back on Wednesday at 7 P.M. ET.