Raptors Can't Come All The Way Back Against Pacers
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December 28, 2011
TORONTO (AP) The Indiana Pacers learned plenty about what it takes to win close games during last season's playoff loss to Chicago. Now, with David West on their side, they've got another option for those late-game situations.
Danny Granger scored nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Pacers held on to beat the Raptors 90-85 on Wednesday night, spoiling Toronto's home opener.
Granger hit a key 3-pointer with 1:14 left and West followed with a fadeaway jumper to help stave off a Toronto rally.
"We have so many weapons down the stretch," Granger said. "We have so many options. I think it's going to be the mark of us being a good team.
Toronto coach Dwane Casey said his defense didn't react quickly enough on either shot.
"Those two plays, with kind of hesitant rotation, really broke our back," Casey said.
West, who scored 14 points, enjoys getting the ball with the game on the line.
"If there's a play to be made, I'm just not going to back down from it," West said. "That's a situation I want to thrive in."
Paul George scored 18 points, and Roy Hibbert had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Pacers improved to 2-0.
Darren Collison became the fifth Pacers starter to reach double figures by making a pair of free throws with 2.5 seconds left. He finished with 10 points and 12 assists.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel has told his team to think back and take inspiration from last season's Chicago series every time they go away from home this year.
"We treat it like a playoff game, quite frankly," Vogel said. "We said in the pregame film session, if we're going to be .500 or better on the road, we've got to come into these buildings and treat them like playoff games."
Indiana's road record will be tested early: This was the first game in a stretch that will see the Pacers play 15 of 21 on the road. But George is confident the lessons learned during last year's postseason appearance will bear fruit.
"That playoff experience has definitely put us in the right mind on how hard we need to play," he said.
Indiana, which beat Detroit at home on Monday, won for the seventh time in 11 games against Toronto, and snapped a streak of 11 straight victories by the home team in the series.
DeMar DeRozan scored 16 of his 22 points in the fourth and Andrea Bargnani finished with 21 for Toronto.
"(DeRozan) single-handedly got us back in the game offensively," Casey said.
Jerryd Bayless scored 13 points and Amir Johnson had 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who won Monday's season-opening game at Cleveland.
Indiana led by as many as 14 points in the fourth before Toronto came back. A 3-pointer by DeRozan and three-point play by Jose Calderon cut it to 80-74 with 3:26 left, forcing the Pacers to call timeout.
Granger's 3-pointer made it 83-75 with 2:19 to play, but Toronto wasn't done. DeRozan hit a 3 and Bargnani followed with a three-point play, cutting it to 83-81 with 1:35 remaining.
Once again, a long-range shot from Granger gave Indiana some breathing room, with his 3-pointer from the wing pushing it to 86-81 with 1:14 left.
Calderon answered with a layup for Toronto but West's fadeaway jumper with nine seconds to play restored Indiana's five-point cushion.
"We've got a lot of guys on the team that can hit big shots," Collison said. "When you add D-West, it just gives us so many more options."