INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 9 (Ticker) --
The Indiana Pacers exposed the
shortcomings of the Toronto Raptors in 24 brutal minutes.
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scored 23 points to lead six players in double
figures and Jermaine O'Neal
had 15 and 16 rebounds as the Pacers
dominated the second half en route to a 108-84 victory over the
Toronto is playing without injured starters Vince Carter
and Lamond Murray
. Despite the absence of two of
their best offensive weapons and biggest inside presence, the
Raptors had a 57-44 halftime lead before enduring the worst half
in franchise history.
Toronto felt the loss of Carter and Murray in the second half,
scoring a franchise-low 27 points on just 28 percent (12-of-43)
shooting. The Raptors also had no one fill Davis' shoes and
were outrebounded, 29-10, in the final 24 minutes.
"We lost our intensity," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "They
made a run and we knew that they were going to because all good
teams make a run. They got back quick and we struggled to make
"Our defensive intensity picked up," Pacers coach Isiah Thomas
said. "We guarded our men, stayed close to them and picked them
up. I think we were all displeased with the first half."
Miller scored 12 points and Erick Strickland
scored all 12 of
his after halftime as Indiana scored 64 points in the second
The Pacers scored 21 of the first 28 points in the third quarter
and took their first lead since the opening quarter at 65-64 on
a 3-pointer by Ron Artest
with 5:34 left. After Toronto's
made a layup, Al Harrington
gave Indiana the lead
for good with a tip shot at the 4:49 mark.
Artest scored nine of his 17 points in the third quarter and the
Pacers carried a 74-68 lead into the final period. Strickland
scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, when Indiana outscored
"We got an emotional speech from coach at halftime and I think
our concentration level really picked up in the second half,"
O'Neal said. "We know we're a better team than we showed in the
Harrington finished with 14 points and Jamaal Tinsley
had 13 and
eight assists for the Pacers, who shot 48 percent (42-of-87)
and held a commanding 52-38 rebounding advantage.
Indiana has won five of its first six games for its best start
since going 5-1 to open the 1971-72 season, when it was in the
"There have been teams in the past that have started like this
and later in the season have fallen," Miller said. "We just have
to keep taking care of business. We're a young team and we've
got to give a good effort night."
Lenard scored 22 points and Alvin Williams
added 12 for the
struggling Raptors, who have lost four of five games after
winning their season opener against Washington.
Lenard scored 12 points in the first quarter as Toronto jumped
to a 27-19 lead. Rookie Chris Jefferies
had eight of his
season-high 12 points in the second quarter, when the Raptors
scored 30 points - three more than they had in the entire second
"Our defensive intensity in the second half wasn't there,"
Jeffries said. "It's very tough being shorthanded. We can do
nothing about it but continue to try and play hard and get
through it. We just have to suck it up."