INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 17 (Ticker) -- Reggie Miller
helped ruin the first
game of the post-Vince Carter era for the Toronto Raptors.
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Miller hit a long jumper as the shot clock was about to expire
with 8.6 seconds left as the Indiana Pacers edged the Raptors,
Carter, the face of the Raptors since 1998, saw his request to
be traded honored earlier Friday as he was shipped the New
Jersey Nets for Alonzo Mourning
, Aaron Williams
, Eric Williams
and two draft picks.
"It's just part of the business." Raptors guard Rafer Alston
said. "We loved Vince as a teammate and we love him now. It's
just part of it.
"The three guys we are getting should help us in some key areas.
We've had too many moral victories ... too many single-digit
losses. We compete and we are in every game, but the little
things are hurting us. One more rebound. One more block. One
more stop. We hope these guys can give us that."
Toronto led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter but
trailed, 87-82, after a jumper by Indiana rookie David Harrison
with 1:57 remaining. The Raptors pulled within 87-86 on a pair
of free throws by Jalen Rose
- who also is the subject of trade
rumors - with 34 seconds left.
With about 10 seconds left, Indiana's Fred Jones
had a layup
blocked by Alston and the ball went out of bounds with a
second left on the shot clock. The ball appeared to go off
Jones, but the Pacers were given possession.
The ball was inbounded to the veteran Miller, who hit a fadeaway
near the right corner.
"That's what they pay me to do," said Miller, who scored 12
points. "At this point in my career, I'm not asked to do much,
but one thing that is demanded of me is that I hit big shots."
The basket initially was called a 3-pointer before being ruled
worth two points, giving Toronto a chance to tie.
"We knew Reggie would come off the screen looking for the ball,"
Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "We thought that the ball had
went off of Jones' leg, so they shouldn't have even had that
shot. When we went into the huddle, we were down four. When we
took the floor, we were down three. It would have been nice
for an official to come over and let us know they changed it ...
but, what else is new?"
Jones played tough defense on Rose, who forced an airball from
the top of the arc just before the buzzer.
Harrison collected a season-high 22 points and seven rebounds
for Indiana, while Tinsley added 22 and six assists.
"Give the young kid credit," Mitchell said of Harrison. "He
just outworked us."
Rose scored 23 points to pace Toronto, which lost for the eighth
time in nine games.
"We just went through the trade today, but I don't think that
trade rumors are as much of a distraction as they are made out
to be," Rose said. "I'm not out of the woods yet ... but you
just have to block it out and be professional."