Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Few teams have had the Indiana Pacers'
number at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season, but the Toronto Raptors haven't
had many problems there at all.
Rudy Gay's go-ahead jumper with 1.7 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the
Raptors to their second triumph in Indianapolis this season, a 100-98 victory
that ended the Pacers' 15-game home winning streak.
Gay finished with 23 points and DeMar DeRozan had 22 to help Toronto, which
dealt Indiana a 74-72 defeat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Nov. 13, halt a
two-game skid. Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas notched double-doubles in
the win, with Johnson amassing 14 points and 14 rebounds and Valanciunas
pulling down 13 boards in addition to 14 points.
Johnson also sent the game into extra time with a putback off a Gay miss an
eyelash before the final horn sounded in regulation.
In the end, our guys hung in there," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. "No
one said this process was going to be easy."
The Central Division-leading Pacers suffered their first setback at home since
a 92-89 ousting by Denver on Dec. 7 despite a 30-point night out of David West
and a 26-point, 14-rebound performance from Paul George. Indiana also had a
season-high five-game overall win streak halted.
Down for most of the game and facing a 72-64 deficit after three quarters, the
Raptors roared back via a 10-0 run in which Gay netted the final six points,
with the recent acquisition burying a jumper that put Toronto up 74-72 with
just under eight minutes left in regulation.
The Raptors were up by one with just over three minutes to go, before an 8-2
Indiana spurt that featured 3-pointers from George and George Hill which
staked the Pacers to an 85-80 lead.
Toronto would fight back once more, though, with Gay throwing down a
thunderous dunk with 11.3 seconds on the fourth-quarter clock to bring his
team within 88-86. After two West free throws that were answered by a Johnson
tip-in, Gay gave the Raptors a chance to win or tie by stealing an errant pass
by West with 5.9 seconds showing.
Johnson then drove the lane and threw up a shot that caromed wildly off
the backboard. He was able to haul in the rebound, however, and get off a shot
that found the net as time expired to forge a 90-90 deadlock.
"I was looking to get it back to [Gay] but he had fallen down," said Johnson
of the play. "As soon as I missed the first shot I glanced at the game clock
and saw that it said point-three [seconds], so I just threw it back up."
Lance Stephenson's triple with 2:06 left in OT sent the Pacers ahead by a
97-96 score, but Valanciunas' second-chance bucket on the ensuing possession
gave Toronto back the lead. Hill was then fouled with 1:30 to play, but made
just 1-of-2 from the stripe to tie it at 98-98.
The Pacers, who committed 18 turnovers on the night, had two giveaways in the
final minute of overtime and Toronto capitalized on the final miscue, a
mishandle by Hill with 10.1 seconds remaining.
Following a timeout, Gay got the ball and calmly drained a 15-foot step-back
shot with a defender in his face for the deciding points, with George's final
attempt rimming out as the horn sounded.
"We just didn't make some smart plays," said West of the Pacers' play down the
stretch. "We lost an assignment on the initial basket (and) I was just
careless with the ball. We just weren't able to close the game the right way."
Indiana assumed early control of the contest with a 10-2 second-quarter run
sparked mainly by its reserves, with the burst turning a one-point deficit
into a 37-30 lead nearing the midway mark of the frame. The Pacers were ahead
by as many as nine points in the first half, but went into the break up 51-44
after DeRozan knocked down a midrange jumper at the buzzer.
The Pacers would stay in front through the entire third quarter, with the
margin getting as high as 11 when a West layup with 7:20 remaining in the
session made the score 63-52. Indiana's defense held the Raptors to 33.3
percent shooting for the period as well, enabling the home team to take an
eight-point margin at 72-64 into the final 12 minutes.
George poured in 15 points on a 5-of-7 success rate from the field during the
opening quarter, though the Pacers held just a 26-25 edge at period's end.
Indiana fell to 20-4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on the season ... Toronto had
dropped seven in a row in Indianapolis prior to its two-point victory in
November ... Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani scored 14 points on 7-of-10
shooting in his second game back after missing 26 straight outings with an
elbow injury, helping Toronto to a 37-16 advantage in bench scoring ... The
Raptors improved to 2-5 in overtime games this season, while the Pacers fell
to 2-2 under such conditions.
The Sports Network