Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Air Canada Centre
Game Rewind: Pacers 82, Raptors 95
Scott Agness | January 1, 2014
The Pacers began the New Year with the league’s best record, 25-5, but they’d hold onto that title for less than 24 hours. Up in Canada for a rare New Year’s Day game, the Pacers (25-6) were too careless with the ball, handing it over a season-high 23 times. Their five-game win streak came to a halt as they faltered to the Toronto Raptors, 95-82 the final.
With the win, the Raptors (15-15), who are atop the Atlantic Division, move to .500 with their six win over the last six games.
Second halves, after the team watches tape and makes adjustments in the locker room, are when the Pacers typically raise their game another notch, or two. That wasn’t the case in this one. Over the final 24 minutes, they were outscored by 17, gave up 14 points in transition and coughed it over 13 times. That’s not a recipe for success.
Roy Hibbert, who battled foul trouble all night, scored six of the Pacers’ first eight points as they took a quick 8-2 lead. As Indiana’s offense, however, stalled over the final nine minutes, the Raptors outscored them 24-10. Hibbert had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting but the rest of the team was just 3-for-13 in the period as they trailed, 26-18.
Greivis Vasquez, who was acquired from Sacramento in early December, buried a 3-pointer to stretch the Raptors’ lead to nine. Indiana’s defense, which then forced four turnovers on Toronto’s next five possessions (and 10 in the period), led to improved play on the offensive end.
Reserve forward Luis Scola scored on consecutive possessions and then a couple minutes later, Danny Granger and George Hill each drilled 3-pointers. As Lance Stephenson sat on the bench with three fouls, Granger played the entire second quarter — his longest stretch since the 2012 playoffs. He looked sharp in doing so, showed little signs of fatigue, and contributed nine points and two assists. The Pacers used a 15-2 run to take back the lead, which was 44-40 at the half.
The Pacers went ahead by eight, their largest lead, on a field goal from Hibbert, but shortly thereafter, he was tagged with his fourth foul and had to check out. As careless mistakes continued for the Pacers, including an offensive foul and then a clear-path foul, the Raptors made them pay with easy buckets, or what coach Frank Vogel called “turnovers for touchdowns,” at the other end.
Indiana is better than any team in the league during the third quarter, but that didn’t hold true tonight. As the Pacers, who failed to score in the final 4:43 of the quarter, settled for jumpers — and missed — the Raptors scored the quarter’s final nine points to take a 66-63 lead heading into the final quarter.
C.J. Watson knocked down a triple to put the Pacers ahead by one with less than 10 minutes remaining, but again, their mistakes compounded. With both teams playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Raptors had all the energy and outplayed the Pacers in their 13-point victory.
Inside the Numbers
Roy Hibbert scored 16 points and had three rebounds in 21 minutes before fouling out. Paul George was quiet much of the night on both ends and finished with 12 points, which ended his streak of six straight games with at least 21. He also had eight rebounds and six turnovers. Danny Granger had a quality showing in consecutive games, as he scored 11 points and handed out three assists in 23 minutes — 15 coming in the first half.
DeMar DeRozan posted a game-high 26 points on 9-of-24 shooting and pulled down nine rebounds. Point guard Kyle Lowry had a terrific game, finishing with 13 points and 14 assists, and only one turnover. Terrence Ross added 18 points.
The Raptors tallied 17 fast-break points to the Pacers’ four.
The Pacers missed plenty of freebies at the line, shooting 65 percent (13-of-20), their third-worst shooting clip in 31 games this season.
Four of the Indiana’s six losses have come on the road on the second night of a back-to-back.
Since dealing Rudy Gay to Sacramento in a 7-player deal on Dec. 9, the Raptors are 9-3.
“We were obviously too careless with our turnovers and too careless with our fouling. Both of those areas were costly. … The turnovers for touchdowns that’s unrecoverable. You turn it over and it’s a one-on-zero break for them. That’s how games change.” – Frank Vogel
“Roy playing only 21 minutes was a big factor. He’s a big part of what we do, the anchor of our defense, low post threat. So not having him out there was a factor.” – Frank Vogel on Hibbert’s foul trouble
“We beat ourselves, we turned the ball over, we missed our defensive assignments and they were the better team tonight, I can honestly say that.” – Roy Hibbert
“They had great energy that was really what gave them their boost. Their crowd got behind them. It’s tough, tough to play against a team that is starting to feel it offensively and defensively they did a good job of playing physical.” – Paul George on the Raptors
“Indiana is one of the top teams in the league but our guy’s battled. We came in hungry and fought for 48 minutes, stayed with the game plan and executed. Let’s not be mistaken, this is one of the top teams in the league and they are going to be in the money at the end.” – Raptors coach Dwane Casey
Stat of the Game
The Pacers turned the ball over a season-high 23 times, which the Raptors converted into 32 points.
- The loss ends Indiana’s streak of four straight wins at the Air Canada Centre.
- A double technical was handed out to Ian Mahinmi and ex-Pacers player Tyler Hansbrough early in the fourth quarter.
- Entering the game, the Pacers had played on New Year’s Day just once in franchise history, an NBA-low. Back in 1985, they beat the Jazz, 119-117, in Utah.
Saturday, Jan. 4 vs New Orleans – 7 p.m. EST