Friday, April 4, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Air Canada Centre
Game Rewind: Pacers 94, Raptors 102
Scott Agness | April 4, 2014
Indiana’s play has improved in the last few games, but Friday’s game in Toronto gave them their first opportunity to take it on the road. The Pacers offense was effective most of the night, featuring 19 assists and just 10 turnovers, but it stalled down the stretch.
The Pacers (53-24) took a 94-92 lead on the Raptors (44-32) on a jumper from David West with 4:24 to play but they wouldn’t score again, missing their final seven shots, in a 102-94 loss. They’ve now dropped six consecutive road games and nine of 11 as they long for their 20th win away from home this season.
The first quarter was an entertaining one, featuring three ties and ten lead changes. Both teams shot it well — better than 52 percent — but the Pacers, who turned it over just once, had a one-point edge.
Indiana neither started nor ended the second period very well. As the ball movement slowed and quick shots were fired, the Raptors scored a quick six points. Backup point guard Donald Sloan gave the team a burst off the pine, with seven of his nine points in the quarter and helping the Pacers take back the lead. However, their defense failed to get stops, and they were outscored 15-5 over the final five minutes of the half. Shooting 54 percent, Toronto’s lead was eight at the break.
The Pacers climbed out of an 11-point hole in the third stanza, using a 12-3 run midway through the quarter as they got stops on the defensive end. They made 22 free throws in the game, 13 of which were scored in the third. By outscoring the Raptors by eight, the game was all knotted at 75 with 12 minutes to play.
Paul George was magnificent in the second half. That’s where he scored 19 of his game-high 26 points. The Pacers looked like they just might string wins together going ahead by two with 4:24 left. However, they gave up back-to-back baskets off offensive rebounds and couldn’t hit at the other end, including a couple good chances at the rim. The Raptors, who were missing two starters — Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson — due to injuries, scored the game’s final 10 points en route to their second straight victory.
And instead of reclaiming the East’s top spot, as Miami lost at home to Minnesota in double overtime, the Pacers remain in second by percentage points (.693 to .688).
Inside the Numbers
As part of his 26-point night, Paul George made 3-of-4 3-pointers and 9-of-10 free throws in 40 minutes of play. David West scored 21 and grabbed seven rebounds and Donald Sloan added nine, matching his season-high.
The Raptors had five players reach double figures, led by 24 from Terrence Ross, who averages 11 points per game. Jonas Valanciunas was effective inside the lane, scoring 22 points (on 10-of-14 shooting) to go along with nine rebounds. DeMar DeRozan chipped in 20 points and dished out nine assists.
In the second and fourth quarters, the Pacers were held to 18 and 19 points, respectively, and outscored by 17 points total.
Second-chance points were equal, at 10 apiece, but the Raptors scored eight of them at key points in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers are 19-19 in road games, with three to play. The last 35 championship teams all finished above .500 on the road.
“They executed. They made the plays down the stretch. They made more plays than we did.” – Frank Vogel on the final minutes
“I thought we played better. I thought we’re still continuing to get back on track, but it wasn’t enough to beat one of the best home teams in the NBA in the second half of the season.” – Frank Vogel
“I thought we lost it when they kept getting second opportunities on plays. They got rebounds, some rebounds where we were just out of position, and some rebounds they just battled us for them offensively. It’s tough; it’s tough to give a team another look.” – Paul George
“We have to figure out a way to win on the road. Until we do that we can’t worry too much about the playoffs.” – Roy Hibbert
Stat of the Game
The Raptors outscored the Pacers by 12 points from beyond the arc, hitting 10-of-22 attempts.
- The Pacers and Raptors split the four-game season series, with both teams holding court at home.
- A double technical was issued to Paul George and John Salmons in the third quarter.
- Both teams wore special shooting shirts made from 100 percent organic cotton for the NBA’s Green Week, which runs from April 3-10.
- Solomon Hill was ruled out for the game with a sore back.
Sunday, April 6 – vs Atlanta – 6 p.m. EST
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