THE FACTS: The Indiana Pacers (37-22) extended their dominance over the Toronto Raptors (23-36) at Air Canada Centre, winning their fourth game in a row 93-81 on Friday night. The Pacers rebounded in their second game of a back-to-back with their signature, gritty, tough smash-mouth basketball style, winning their sixth in seven games. Paul George's 22-point and 10 rebound double-double, coupled with David West's 15-point and 11 rebound double-double led the way for the Pacers. Roy Hibbert returned from serving a one-game suspension, and added 18 points.
The Pacers set the tone early, holding the Raptors to a season-low 13 points in the first quarter.
By halftime the Pacers were up 39-34, but their 11-5 run to close the third quarter giving them a 64-51 only widened in the fourth quarter. Their 8-2 run to start the fourth on a George 3-pointer widened the lead to 19 points, the highest of the game, providing a deficit Toronto could not overcome.
The Raptors were led by Rudy Gay's 21 points, while Alan Anderson and John Lucas came off the bench and scored 14 and 10 points respectively.
QUOTABLE: "This is a huge win, this team beat us twice at home and we came here trying to get some revenge."
-- Pacers forward George.
THE STAT: The officials were active, calling 49 fouls between both teams, however they weren't playing in the game. The Pacers' tough, physical play and their ability to bully and have their way in the paint gave them the edge in that department, outscoring the Raptors 40-30.
TURNING POINT: George's third 3-point shot of the night with 9:56 left in the fourth put the Pacers up 72-53, providing them with their biggest lead of the game at 19. It was his eleventh point of a 19-2 Pacers run that carried over from the third quarter. The Raptors .382 shooting for the night could not help them get back in the game.
QUOTABLE II: We just know that if we come in, hit first, have that aggression level, especially on the defensive end, we'll create opportunities for ourselves on the offensive end."
-- Pacers forward West.
HOT: Danny Granger, in his fourth game of the season after missing the first 55 with a knee injury, looked comfortable in the first half. He shot 3-for-5 from the floor for eight points, three rebounds and one steal in 10 minutes of play. The Pacers held him out of the second half as it was the second game of a back-to-back.
NOT: DeMar DeRozan averaged 19.8 points a game in February, yet couldn't get on track Friday night, shooting 2-for-10 from the field and 5-for-10 from the free throw line, with nine points.
NOTABLE: The season series is split at 2-2 with both teams winning on the road. The Pacers outrebounded the Raptors, 43-30. The Raptors scored a season-low 13 points in the first quarter and shot .167 (3-for-17) from the field. Actor, Steve Schirripa, from the TV show The Sopranos sat courtside. The Raptors start a four-game road trip at Milwaukee on Saturday. Toronto's bench has outscored Indiana's reserves 103-87, prior this season.
UP NEXT: For the Raptors: Saturday @ Milwaukee, Monday @ Golden State, Wednesday @ Phoenix. For the Pacers: Sunday vs. Chicago, Wednesday vs. Boston and Friday vs. Orlando.