Game Rap: Raptors 111, Pacers 100
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
DeMar DeRozan drilled a three-pointer to give Toronto a 10-point lead with 51 seconds remaining. It was DeRozan’s third 3-pointer of the game and it helped the Raptors defeat the Indiana Pacers 111-100, sealing Toronto’s 46th win of the season.
KEEPING THINGS CLOSE
One might think that the Raptors were unaware of the 7 P.M. tip off on Friday night. Tipping off 30 minutes earlier than the usual Air Canada Centre start time, Toronto was slow from the jump and the Pacers took advantage, jumping out to a quick seven-point advantage. The Raptors would trail by as many as eight points the quarter before waking up and closing the gap. With the score tied and the ball for the final possession of the quarter, Delon Wright found P.J. Tucker in the corner for a 3-pointer to give the Raptors a three-point lead after the opening 12 minutes.
COLD FROM THE FLOOR/h4>
Things went downhill for Toronto offensively after a solid finish to the first quarter. Toronto shot 47 percent in the opening quarter, but then struggled to score from the floor. The Raptors made just 30 percent of their field goals in the second quarter as the Pacers outscored Toronto 23-18 behind an eight-point effort from Paul George and seven points from C.J. Miles off the bench. Delon Wright led the Raptors with seven points off the bench as Toronto had just two assists in the quarter and the Pacers took a two-point lead into the locker room at the halftime break. DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 16 points in the half while Paul George led the Pacers with 14 points.
ALL JV ALL THE TIME
For the second consecutive game, the third quarter belonged to Jonas Valanciunas. After scoring eight points and grabbing nine rebounds (as well as a steal and three blocked shots) in Toronto’s third quarter against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, Valanciunas went out and set a franchise-record for rebounds in a quarter when he recorded a 12-point, 13-rebound third quarter in Friday. Joining Valanciunas was DeMar DeRozan, who scored 16 points in the third, as the duo combined to outscore the Pacers 28-20 with Toronto as a team outscoring Indiana 34-20. The Raptors shot 50 percent in the third while the Pacers shot 32 percent. Toronto took a 12-point lead into the final quarter behind DeRozan’s 32 points in three quarters. Indiana was led by Paul George’s 19 points.
ROLLING TO THE FINAL BUZZER
The fourth saw both teams get loose offensively, with the Pacers outscoring the Raptors 32-31 in the quarter. The Raptors shot 61 percent in the fourth, with Indiana shooting 53 percent. Toronto was sloppy with the ball late, turning it over five times, leading to nine points scored by the Pacers in the final quarter, but the miscues weren't enough. Unable to get stops defensively, Indiana failed to get closer than seven points in the fourth. After Serge Ibaka assisted on DeMar DeRozan’s 3-pointer to put Toronto ahead by 10 with 51 seconds remaining, DeRozan capped off his night by hitting a pair of free throws to reach 40 points for the seventh time this season.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan scored 40 points for the seventh time this season. He owns the franchise record for 40+ point performances in a single season which was previously held by Chris Bosh and Vince Carter with four 40+ point performances in a season. Carter had scored 40+ points four times in a season on two occasions. DeRozan played 38 minutes on Friday, shooting 11-for-26 from the floor, 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and 15-for-20 from the free throw line. He added nine rebounds, four assists, and a steal and the team was a team-best +14 when he was on the floor.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jonas Valanciunas recorded a 16-point, 17-rebound double-double against the Pacers. He played 29 minutes, shooting 5-for-9 from the floor and 6-for-9 from the free throw line. He added an assist, a steal, and two blocked shots, but it was his play in the third quarter that was most impressive as he helped the Raptors build a 12-point lead heading into the final quarter.
THAT'S A RAP…
“He is a heck of a scorer, he has been doing it all season. It’s not surprising what he does. What is surprising is he’s hitting threes now. That’s the surprising thing.”
- DeMarre Carroll joking about DeMar DeRozan’s 40-point night that included three 3-pointers
BY THE #'S
53... rebounds for the Raptors, 42 rebounds for the Pacers. Toronto also held a 16-12 edge on the offensive glass.
20... Second chance points scored by Toronto compared to 13 for Indiana.
35... Free throw attempts for the Raptors who shot 23-for-33 (66 percent) The Pacers shot 17-for-21 at the line (81 percent). DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 20 trips to the line, making 15 of his attempts.
23... Assists for Toronto, 19 for Indiana.
THEY SAID IT…
“Every record is an honour. It’s big and I don't believe it. I go home and I still don't believe it, so it’s great. Maybe after I finish playing I’ll look back at it and be amazed.”
- DeMar DeRozan on tying Vince Carter for most 30-point games in a single season
“I thought JV did an excellent job at it again. That’s the second game in a row he came with a lot of force, purpose in the paint, moving bodies around, screening and rolling, catching and finishing. He did an excellent job. What’d he have, 17 rebounds for us? That’s huge. I think JV’s playing at a high level the last couple of games in the interior, with his physicality, rebounding, screening, doing all the things you need to do as a big man in this league.”
- Dwane Casey on another dominant night on the glass from Jonas Valanciunas
“I just hope it’s going to continue like that. I’m just playing with energy and something is giving me extra energy, extra focus, and I have to keep it that way.”
- Jonas Valanciunas on his strong third quarter play
“Yeah, for sure. For sure. You’ve got that confidence. You’ve got that swagger that you feel internally when things are rolling. You just feel good when you’re out there on the court. It’s something where we’re still working our way up in the last six, seven games, to even get it that much higher.”
- DeMar DeRozan on how having momentum heading into the playoffs can help a team
The Philadelphia 76ers will take on the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday at 6 P.M. ET.