Pacers at Raptors

Game Recap: Pacers 125, Raptors 113

The Pacers defeated the Raptors, 125-113. Domantas Sabonis recorded 25 points, 16 rebounds and five assists for the Pacers, while T.J. McConnell added 12 points, five rebounds and a career-high tying

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Game Recap: Pacers 125, Raptors 113

The Pacers defeated the Raptors, 125-113. Domantas Sabonis recorded 25 points, 16 rebounds and five assists for the Pacers, while T.J. McConnell added 12 points, five rebounds and a career-high tying
May 16, 2021  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – May 16, 2021

May 16, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, T.J. McConnell, Oshae Brissett, and Domantas Sabonis speak with the media following Indiana’s last regular season game and 125-113 win over the Toronto Raptors.
May 16, 2021  |  01:48

Oshae Brissett (31 points) Highlights vs. Toronto Raptors

Oshae Brissett (31 points) Highlights vs. Toronto Raptors, 05/16/2021
May 16, 2021  |  00:01

T.J. McConnell with 17 Assists vs. Toronto Raptors

T.J. McConnell with 17 Assists vs. Toronto Raptors, 05/16/2021
May 16, 2021  |  00:01

Domantas Sabonis (25 points) Highlights vs. Toronto Raptors

Domantas Sabonis (25 points) Highlights vs. Toronto Raptors, 05/16/2021
May 16, 2021  |  00:01

Domas Behind the Back to Brissett

May 16, 2021: Domantas Sabonis reads the defense and hits Oshae Brissett with a behind-the-back pass, and Brissett drains the three.
May 16, 2021  |  00:08

McConnell Hits Bitadze On the Run

May 16, 2021: Goga Bitadze goes up with it quickly after receiving the pass from T.J. McConnell.
May 16, 2021  |  00:08

Domas With the Smooth Move

May 16, 2021: Domantas Sabonis goes coast to coast for the layup, including some smooth footwork.
May 16, 2021  |  00:09

McConnell With a Dime to Brissett

May 16, 2021: T.J. McConnell's long bounce pass finds Oshae Brissett perfectly in stride for Brissett to make the layup through contact.
May 16, 2021  |  00:09

Brissett Rises Up for the Dunk

May 16, 2021: Domantas Sabonis forces the turnover and pushes it up the floor to Oshae Brissett, who flies high for the dunk.
May 16, 2021  |  00:09

McConnell Sets Up Sabonis for the Dunk

May 16, 2021: T.J. McConnell gets into the paint and dumps it off to Domantas Sabonis for the slam.
May 16, 2021  |  00:08

LeVert Finds Brissett on the Fastbreak

May 16, 2021: Caris LeVert finds Oshae Brissett behind the arc on the fastbreak.
May 16, 2021  |  00:09

McDermott Gets to the Rim

May 16, 2021: Doug McDermott avoids the defenders and gets the layup to go.
May 16, 2021  |  00:08

Domas Pounds It Down

May 16, 2021: The Pacers force the turnover and Domantas Sabonis is all alone for the easy dunk.
May 16, 2021  |  00:09

Caris Makes it Look Easy

May 16, 2021: Caris LeVert takes his man off the dribble and spins for the layup.
May 16, 2021  |  00:08

Game Rewind: Pacers 125, Raptors 113

Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 1:00 PM ET at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Game Recap

The Pacers will have to win two straight Play-In Tournament games to reach the playoffs, but they will start their postseason journey within the friendly confines of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Indiana (34-38) secured the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 125-113 victory in Tampa over the Toronto Raptors (27-45) on Sunday afternoon on the final day of the regular season. The Blue & Gold will host 10th-seeded Charlotte in an elimination game on Tuesday night. The winner of that game will then face the loser of Tuesday's game between Boston and Washington for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

Oshae Brissett scored a career-high 31 points, going 10-for-16 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3-point range, while also pulling down 10 rebounds to lead the Pacers to victory against the Raptors, who used just six players in their final game of the season.

It was an impressive close to the season for Brissett, who joined the Pacers on April 1 on a 10-day contract, but quickly assumed an important role on the roster, starting at power forward for the final month of the regular season.

"It's been a lot of hard work and just staying focused and staying ready," Brissett said. "When I came in (to Indiana), I didn't really know if I was going to play the first couple 10-days or whatever. But just being the great teammate that I am, helping my guys on and off the court, that's really prepared me to get mentally ready for everything."

Domantas Sabonis (25 points and 16 rebounds) and T.J. McConnell (12 points and 17 assists) each also recorded double-doubles.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Tracking the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More »

Doug McDermott hit three early 3-pointers as he scored nine of Indiana's first 15 points. As a team, the Blue & Gold went 7-for-13 from beyond the arc in the opening frame.

But the Raptors hung tough through the first quarter, as the Pacers led just 31-30 after one.

The Pacers slowly built up their lead in the second quarter, as Brissett scored eight points during a 15-4 Pacers run that pushed the lead to 14. A late jumper by Caris LeVert stretched the margin to 16, but Malachi Flynn's 3-pointer just before halftime made it a 68-55 game.

LeVert had 13 points and six assists in the first half, but did not return after halftime due to a migraine. McConnell started the third quarter at point guard in his place.

Toronto opened the second half with a 9-4 surge to get back within eight, but the Pacers responded with an 11-2 run. Brissett scored 12 more points in the third quarter, with his 3-pointer with 1:26 remaining in the frame pushing Indiana's lead to 18.

The Raptors closed the frame with seven unanswered points, however, trimming the margin to 94-83 with 12 minutes to play.

Toronto did not quit, managing to get within nine points at both the 5:04 and 4:33 marks. But Brissett's fifth 3-pointer of the night with 4:10 remaining stretched the lead back to double digits and the Raptors never seriously threatened the rest of the way.

McDermott scored 20 points on Sunday, going 4-for-8 from 3-point range. Kelan Martin joined him double figures with 13 points off the bench.

Flynn led Toronto with 27 points and five assists. Stanley Johnson added 24 points, five rebounds, and seven assists, while DeAndre' Bembry added 23 points, five boards, and four assists.

The Pacers now head into the unknown, playing in the next Play-In format for the first time. It may be uncharted territory, but Indiana can draw comfort from starting the journey in a familiar setting.

"We want to come out, play aggressive," Sabonis said. "We're home in front of our fans, so that's going to be a lot of fun. The goal was to win today and get that homecourt advantage and now we've got a day to prepare."

Inside the Numbers

McConnell's 17 assists were a season high and matched the most in his career. He also had 17 assists while playing for Philadelphia against Boston on Jan. 6, 2017.

Sabonis recorded his 48th double-double of the season, McConnell collected his sixth, and Brissett tallied his fifth.

Indiana outscored Toronto 60-50 in points in the paint and 23-10 in fastbreak points.

The Pacers shot 50.5 percent from the field and 15-for-37 (40.5 percent) from 3-point range.

For the second straight season, Justin Holiday was the only Pacer to play in every regular season game. Holiday started for the 52nd time in 72 games on Sunday, tallying seven points and three rebounds in 30 minutes.

You Can Quote Me On That

"He's been doing a great job playing his role the right way. His size out there at that four spot makes him very versatile. He can hit the three like you've seen. He's rebounding it, he had double-digits in boards here again (today). I think he does a good job of cutting when he's supposed to cut. His instincts are good. But just his overall work ethic is what got him here. He's been a worker his entire life and plays hard and he's going to continue to play hard and get better." -Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren on Brissett's contributions

"T.J. had 17 assists there. Very big number. The way that he pushes it and shares it, he played a good ball game." -Bjorkgren on McConnell

"The injuries that have decimated our team have kind of forced me into a (new) role. I'm always going to get people the ball and get into the lane and look for them, but...it's made me look to score more. I think that's what this team has needed from me over these stretches and that's what I've tried to do." -McConnell on taking on a larger playmaking role

"I feel like it's going to be the same mentality as any other playoff game. We know the weight on this game. We've got to win to go onto the next game and then win that game to be in the playoffs. That's where you want to be...They're a great team. They've got a lot of great guys that can really get hot. But Coach is going to get the game plan tomorrow." -Brissett on the Play-In Tournament

"They're just really good. They play fast, they've got a lot of really high-level scorers, and the last time they came to (Bankers Life Fieldhouse), from start to finish they just really outplayed us. I think we've got to come out, be ready, do what we do, move the ball, be disruptive on defense, and get out and go." -McConnell on Charlotte

"It's kind of like March Madness. You win or you go home. We're going to have to go play our best basketball, get stops, make buckets, and play together — that's the most important thing." -Sabonis on the approach to the Play-In format

Stat of the Day

Playing in his 40th career game, Brissett's 31 points on Sunday were eight more than his previous best, a mark he set in a win over Oklahoma City on April 21. His five 3-pointers matched his career high. He also went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc in Thursday's game against Milwaukee.

Noteworthy

  • Guards Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) and Aaron Holiday (toe) were listed as questionable and went through pregame routines before being ruled out Sunday. Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren said both players, as well as Edmond Sumner (knee), could be available on Tuesday. Jeremy Lamb (knee) and Myles Turner (toe) will likely remain out against Charlotte.
  • Indiana finished the season an impressive 12-5 when playing the second half of a back-to-back.
  • The Pacers had lost 13 straight regular season road games against the Raptors. Their last regular season road win in the series came in Toronto on March 1, 2013. The Raptors played home games in Tampa this season due to Canada's COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Up Next

The Pacers will host LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets in the Play-In Tournament on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:30 PM ET. Tickets for that game will go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 17 at 4:00 PM ET. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »





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