TORONTO, Ont., Nov. 4 (Ticker)
-- Vince Carter
and the Toronto Raptors were red-hot for a half, and that was enough.
Vince Carter bulldozes past Reggie Miller in the Raptors' win over the Pacers.
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Carter scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half, when the Raptors shot 60 percent from the field, took the lead for good and held on for a 113-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
"We're going to run to him and get him involved early," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We know teams are going to key on him early."
"We were able to answer their runs with runs of our own," said Carter, who also had eight assists. "It was important for us to come out aggressive."
Carter made 5-of-10 shots in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers. He got some help from forwards Antonio Davis
, who was 5-of-5 and scored 14 points, and Morris Peterson
, who was 5-of-8 and added 12.
"It's easy to pass the ball when guys like Mo and Antonio are hitting shots," Carter said.
"I think we're growing as a team," Davis added. "Mo's confidence is up. He knows we need him to score and attack the basket."
In all, the Raptors made 24-of-40 shots in the first half and bolted to a 67-53 lead. Despite cooling off considerably in the second half, Toronto was never seriously challenged and defeated Indiana for the fifth straight time.
Former Pacer Davis scored 21 points and Peterson added 18 for the Raptors, who have won two in a row at home after dropping their first two games on the road.
"Mentally, it was important for us to come home and win two games," Davis said. "But it's more important that we are getting better, which will be reflected in the long run." Jermaine O'Neal
scored 21 points for the Pacers, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Indiana has not beaten Toronto since April 12, 2000.
"We pretty much let them do whatever they wanted in the first half," Pacers guard Reggie Miller
said. "Whenever you play from behind on the road, it's tough. Too many of their guys had a rhythm."
The Raptors took the lead for good at 8-7 on a jumper by Alvin Williams
with 9:06 left in the first quarter. That started an 11-2 surge capped by Peterson's free throw for a 17-9 advantage with 6:54 to play.
Peterson and Carter scored 10 points each in the period, which ended with Toronto holding a 32-26 lead.
The Pacers still were within 61-53 late in the first half. But Carter made a 3-pointer, Peterson hit a shot and Davis scored his 10th point of the period, pushing the lead to 14.
"He was terrific," Wilkens said. "Our big guys got into foul trouble and we had to play him a lot longer than we wanted to."
"We didn't knock shots down," Pacers swingman Jalen Rose
said. "They did a good job of finding ways to score against our defense. In the first half, we didn't compete hard enough."
Toronto made just 3-of-21 shots in the third quarter and Indiana closed to 85-79 entering the final period. Al Harrington
's free throw made it a five-point game, but the Pacers got no closer.
Carter tipped in his own miss and Peterson hit a tough runner to rebuild the lead to 94-83 with 7:10 left. Carter made a jumper and 3-pointer around a basket by Rose, giving Toronto a 101-89 lead with 5:33 to go.
"Toronto did all the right things and we didn't hit shots," Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said. "I thought we might go on a run, but we missed the five-footers."
Williams had 14 points and eight assists for the Raptors, who finished at 49 percent (37-of-76) and made 33-of-40 free throws.
Rose scored 17 points and Miller added 15 for the Pacers, who shot 38 percent (34-of-89) and hit 25-of-32 from the line.