The Raptors fell behind by as many as 20 points in the second quarter before making a spirited charge and cutting it to a 51-45 deficit by halftime. That set up a tight second-half battle that saw the Pacers finally get a little separation late in a sloppy fourth quarter for both sides.
Back-to-back buckets from Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems cut it to 87-82 with 6:19 to play, but Roy Hibbert and rookie Paul George combined to score eight straight points for the Pacers and the lead was comfortably back up to 13 with 4:47 to play.
When Roy Hibbert was called out by then head coach Jim O'Brien in mid-December, the centre struggled to regain his early-season consistency. In his first game with interim head coch Frank Vogel at the helm, Hibbert bounced back in a big way.
His 24 points was his highest total since November 28 and he carried the mail for this team as it pulled away late -- with eight points, three rebounds, two steals and some solid defence in the game's final six minutes.
The Raptors wouldn't have been in this game in the second half if it weren't for Ed Davis. The rookie made an immediate impact in the second quarter -- with 11 points, five rebounds (four offensive) and a block in the frame.
"Active, blocked shots, changed the game when he got in the game," head coach Jay Triano said of Davis post-game. "He was on the floor when we made the run to get back in it and he was on the floor for most of the positive things we did today."
"The first six minutes we held them at 10 points. And then we kind of fell back into some old habits. I thought in the second quarter we got the energy back and started to roll a little bit. In the second half we got to play a pretty even game. I thought our energy was good. We forced them to turn the ball over a lot, played hard, didn’t give them anything easy, held them to 44%. I’ll take that on a nightly basis."
- Jay Triano, on the flow of the game
Wed., Feb. 2 @ Atlanta
7:00 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590
The Raptors try and end the road trip and their 12-game slide in Atlanta against the Hawks. The Raptors have dropped two meetings with the Hawks this season, but were narrowly beaten 104-101 on a dagger from Mike Bibby in the game's dying seconds. The Raptors have dropped five straight games at Philips Arena.
|20||Biggest lead for the Pacers|
|1-6||Three-point shooting for the Raptors|
|23||Raptors points off 25 Pacers turnovers|
|8||Assists for DeMar DeRozan in his last two games|
|38-56||Rebound totals favouring the Pacers|
|"It’s not like we’re forcing shots all the time. We’ve been making these shots, now they don’t want to go in."|
- Jose Calderon on the team's confidence
|"I’m obviously ecstatic. We got a win and got off to a good start to a new beginning."|
- Pacers interim head coach Frank Vogel on his first win as an NBA head coach
|"I think we’re taking wide open, good shots. They just go in and out. But overall we’re playing good defensively. It was a good effort tonight we just came up short."|
- Amir Johnson, on the Raptors' shooting