Friday, March 1st at 7:00 PM EST at Air Canada Centre
Game Preview: IND at TOR
Scott Agness | February 28, 2013 | Updated: February 28th at 7:33 PM
It’s safe to say the Pacers will be up for this one. Despite being on the second night of a back-to-back, the Pacers seek revenge against the Toronto Raptors, who ended their five-game winning streak and a stretch of 15 wins in a row at home. After Friday night, the Raptors are on the road for their next four games.
This season series, which will be wrapped up Friday across the border, has been about as close as it can get. George Hill’s tear-drop gave the Pacers a victory in their season-opener in Toronto on Oct. 31. The Raptors took the next two meetings, both in Indianapolis. And wildly enough, all three contests have been decided by two points.
The Raptors (23-35) are last in the Atlantic Division and six games back from the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Rudy Gay has thrived since being traded from Memphis to Toronto on the final day of January. In his 12 games with the Raptors, he’s averaged 20.4 points (+3.2 ppg), and 6.8 rebounds (+0.9 rpg) per game. He’s also getting almost four more shots up in each game. Forward DeMar DeRozan, who has scored at least 15 points in each game against the Pacers, is coming off a 34-point night in a loss to Cleveland Wednesday night.
As usual, the Paul George matchup with Gay will be most interesting to watch. Both have athletic and lengthy bodies, they can beat you off the dribble, knock down the open shot and defend at the other end.
Roy Hibbert will be back with the team after missing just his fourth game in four seasons because of an NBA suspension. Coach Vogel said even though it is a back-to-back, he still expects Danny Granger, who’s recovering from a knee injury that kept him out the first 55 games this season, to play his usual minutes – about 15 to 20.
Raptors: Linas Kleiza (out, sore right knee)
“They got two games on our home court. They beat us twice here so we need to get back there and beat them a second time.” – Frank Vogel
“We should be real motivated for this game. They beat us twice on our own floor. That should be the motivation right there.” – Paul George
“We know that they’re a good team. As long as we defend at a high level and share the ball, I think we’ll be fine.” – George Hill
- The Raptors have won the last two meetings but have lost three in a row at home to the Pacers.
- All three meetings have been decided by two points.
- Raptors guard Terrence Ross won the 2013 Slam Dunk Contest.
- The Raptors went 7-5 in February, the club’s first winning month since 2010 when they went 10-5.
- Raptors assistant Johnny Davis played for the Pacers from 1978-1982.
Late turnovers cost the Pacers their 16th-straight home win, falling to the Raptors in overtime 100-98. Behind most of the game, the Raptors used a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter to take the lead. Despite making just four-of-17 shots in the fourth, they had a four-point lead with 10.7 seconds left and should have closed it out. On an inbounds play across midcourt, Rudy Gay took just a few seconds to dunk it and then he stole the inbounds pass, a poor decision by David West to launch it to half-court. Amir Johnson rebounded his own miss and then got his second try to fall with 0.1 seconds left, which sent the game to extra time.
In overtime with chances to take the lead, West again made a careless pass and then on the next possession, George Hill lost the ball off his leg. Tied at 98, Gay knocked down a 15-footer in the face of Paul George with 1.7 seconds left.
David West scored 30 points, and Paul George finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. Rudy Gay led the Raptors with 23 points while DeMar DeRozan dropped 22.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (host)