GAME RECAP: Raptors 115, Pacers 106

Serge Ibaka scores 22 points and 10 boards as Toronto beat Indiana, 115-106.

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GAME RECAP: Raptors 115, Pacers 106

Serge Ibaka scores 22 points and 10 boards as Toronto beat Indiana, 115-106.
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Feb. 7, 2020

Feb. 7, 2020 - Domantas Sabonis, Victor Oladipo, and Justin Holiday respond to the 106-115 loss to the Toronto Raptors Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Feb 7, 2020  |  01:43

Postgame: McMillan Press Conference - Feb. 7, 2020

February 7, 2020 - Coach Nate McMillan answers questions following the Pacers' tough 106-115 loss to the Raptors at home Friday night.
Feb 7, 2020  |  02:32

A. Holiday Hit From Top of Key

A. Holiday Hit From Top of Key
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:11

McConnell Spin and In

McConnell Spin and In
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:11

Turner Puts It Home

Turner Puts It Home
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:09

Pacers Steal Leads to Brogdon Two

Pacers Steal Leads to Brogdon Two
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:09

Five Points in Nine Seconds

Five Points in Nine Seconds
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:19

Pacers Go Coast to Coast

Pacers Go Coast to Coast
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:12

J. Holiday Scores on Fast Break

J. Holiday Scores on Fast Break
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:07

Domas Skip Pass to Lamb for Three

Domas Skip Pass to Lamb for Three
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:05

Vic Hits Three Before Shot Clock Hits Zero

Vic Hits Three Before Shot Clock Hits Zero
Feb 7, 2020  |  00:06

Too Many Threes, Too Many Turnovers

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer
@MarkMontieth

It's a make or miss league as the cliché goes, and that's especially true when you're making or missing from behind the 3-point line.

A team that hits 45 percent of 38 3-point attempts is likely to win. A team that hits 29 percent of 34 3-point attempts is likely to lose. The only way to overcome the obstacle of inferior shooting is to limit turnovers and get up more shots, neither of which the Pacers did in their 115-106 loss to Toronto at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday.

You can take apart the game and analyze every moving part, but like most games it came down to shooting accuracy. The Raptors outscored the Pacers by 21 points beyond the 3-point line, extending a coincidental trend.

The Pacers made seven more 3-pointers than Toronto in their victory over the Raptors on Dec. 23 and did so again in their one-point loss in Toronto on Wednesday. They managed to lose that game because they turned the ball over 19 times, including three in a row in the final two minutes. They managed to lose Friday's game because they compounded their 21-point deficit on 3-point shots by turning the ball over 20 times, once again doing so three consecutive times in the fourth quarter.

"We didn't defend. We didn't take care of the ball. These two games we lost, we basically hurt ourselves the same way in both games," coach Nate McMillan said.

Credit goes to Toronto, of course, for simply being really good. Surprisingly good, in fact. It has built a 38-14 record despite the loss of Kawhi Leonard, the Finals MVP when it won the NBA championship last season, by being balanced offensively — six players scored between 15 and 22 points on Friday — and dedicated defensively.

The Pacers, now riding a season-long four-game losing streak, managed just one lead in the second half, a one-point advantage early in the third quarter that lasted all of 14 seconds. They appeared to get a break when Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who shredded their defense with his penetration for layups and assists, had to leave the game with a neck injury with 2:42 left in the third quarter, having compiled 16 points and 11 assists.

Toronto failed to score the rest of that period but got back to moving the ball and making 3-pointers in the final period.

"Penetrate and kick; that's what they do," McMillan said. "We didn't do a good job of keeping the ball in front."

The Pacers got within two points on Doug McDermott's layup with 6:47 left, but Serge Ibaka immediately answered with a 28-foot 3-pointer that forced a Pacers' timeout. Their desperate comeback attempt floundered when they committed three consecutive turnovers between 4:19 and 3:33. Victor Oladipo lost his dribble to OG Anunoby, then Domantas Sabonis traveled, then Malcolm Brogdon lost his dribble to Anunoby's defense.

The Pacers had entered the game with fewer turnovers than all but two teams and had tied a franchise record by committing just four in Monday's loss to Dallas. Toronto, however, ranked second in forcing turnovers and has prevailed in these past two games by forcing 39 combined turnovers.

"That's just the way they play defense," Myles Turner said. "They're in their gaps. They made a concerted effort to put a lot of pressure on the ball, especially when they were switching, and we could never find our balance."

Not all of the turnovers were forced, though.

"There's a lot of games we play and there's going to be times we do dumb stuff," Justin Holiday added. "Tonight, we were doing it."

Victor Oladipo

Photo Credit: Matt Kryger

The best thing about the game for the Pacers was that Oladipo's first half was his best stretch of play in the five games since his return last week. He hit all three shots in the first quarter, including a 3-pointer, and finished the half with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting. He had just four points in the second half, hitting 1-of-5 shots and committing three turnovers.

"It was a pretty good first half as far as how he was moving," McMillan said. "He seemed to be in a better rhythm. The second half he looked a little tight when he came back into the game."

While Oladipo's offense remains in need of rust remover — he's hit just 28 percent of his 64 field goal attempts — his defense has approached that of two seasons ago when he was a first-team all-defense selection. Although he's played just 119 minutes, he leads the team with five drawn charges. T.J. McConnell is second with four in 967 minutes. None of the starters rank in the top five in the category.

"He's playing very, very hard and moving really well defensively," Justin Holiday said.

Oladipo will sit out Saturday's game against New Orleans to follow the planned strategy of keeping him out of back-to-back games before the All-Star break. But T.J. Warren, who has missed the three previous games because of a concussion suffered in last Saturday's game with New York, could return.

And then, perhaps, the Pacers can open Monday's game against Brooklyn with their intended starting lineup for the first time all season.


Have a question for Mark? Want it to be on Pacers.com? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com and you could be featured in his next mailbag.

Mark Montieth's book on the formation and groundbreaking seasons of the Pacers, "Reborn: The Pacers and the Return of Pro Basketball to Indianapolis," is available in bookstores throughout Indiana and on Amazon.com.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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