INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 19 (Ticker) -- Morris Peterson
was hot and Isiah Thomas was hot under the collar.
Peterson scored 10 of his career-high 29 points in the fourth quarter and drew a foul that sent Thomas into a tirade as the Toronto Raptors ended their season-high four-game losing streak with a 102-90 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Peterson came in averaging 11.8 points per game but has battled inconsistency in his second season. However, he could not be stopped by the Pacers, particularly in the final period.
"I'm trying to go to the basket a lot more," said Peterson, who made 11-of-18 shots and 5-of-6 free throws. "I think the referees see that and it shows that you're being aggressive. Personally, I think it opens up my game."
NBA.comTV highlights from Raptors-Pacers:
56k | 300k |
Vince Carter floats a jumper over Reggie Miller, who knows something about jumpers.
After Indiana's Jalen Rose
cut the deficit to 94-90 with 1:03 left, Toronto's Alvin Williams
nearly lost the ball along the sideline. With a clear view of the play, Thomas argued that Williams had stepped out of bounds and pounded the scorer's table in frustration when no call was made.
The Raptors raced the shot clock and swung the ball to Peterson, whose 3-pointer from the left wing clearly was off. However, rookie Jamaal Tinsley hooked Peterson's arm after the release and pulled him down, drawing a foul.
Thomas vehemently argued the call and was ejected. Peterson made all four free throws for a 98-90 lead with 40 seconds left.
Williams scored a career-high 24 points, including 10 in the final period. With Peterson, he helped take the pressure off All-Star Vince Carter, who scored 23 points.
"Morris Peterson stepped up really big for us," Carter said.
"We know that other teams are going after Vince, so we have to find people to step up down the stretch," Peterson said. "I think that's what this team will need to get over the hump."
O'Neal's basket gave Indiana an 80-78 lead with 9:40 to play before Williams threw in a hook, Peterson made two layups and Keon Clark scored inside for an 86-80 advantage with 7:10 left.
"I'm trying to put things together," Peterson said. "I listen to and look up to the older guys on this team. I'm like a kid in a candy store learning from these guys."
The Pacers cut the deficit to two points, but jump shots by Williams and Peterson rebuilt the lead to 90-84 with 4:01 to play.
Miller made a jumper and O'Neal scored inside again make it a two-point game before former Pacer Antonio Davis and Williams made jumpers for a 94-88 bulge with 1:17 to go.
"Alvin Williams and Morris Peterson played well," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We had help from everyone."
Clark had 10 points and 11 rebounds, Jerome Williams grabbed 10 boards and Davis added nine for the Raptors, who used just seven players. Center Hakeem Olajuwon sat out with a swollen toe and guard Chris Childs has a sore Achilles tendon.
Toronto shot 45 percent (41-of-91), held a 47-40 rebounding edge and committed just 10 turnovers as it beat Indiana for the sixth straight time.
Miller scored 19 points and Al Harrington added 12 for Indiana, which shot 42.5 percent (34-of-80) and has surrendered at least 100 points in six consecutive games, its longest stretch since 1995.
"We've got to find ways to win these kind of games," said Rose, who scored 10 points. "We've got to find ways to address these types of matters."
Carter scored 17 points in the first half, helping Toronto to a 50-47 lead. O'Neal and Miller had eight points apiece in the third quarter as Indiana surged to a 76-74 edge.