TORONTO – The Indiana Pacers (47-33) scorched the nets with 126 points in a win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. It appears they should have left some of those points for Friday’s matchup with the Toronto Raptors (57-22).
Indiana shot a horrendous 29.9% (26-of-87) from the field in a 92-73 loss to the Raptors, who clinched the number one seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with the win. The Blue and Gold’s starting five combined for just 18 points, a sure sign of a rough night.
With the loss, Indy is just about assured to finish fifth in the East. The Philadelphia 76ers narrowly defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, putting the Sixers in third. The Cavs drop to fourth in the conference, but the Pacers will need things to fall their way to secure home court. Indiana needs to win their final two games of the regular season, plus either Philly or Cleveland to lose out, to move up in the standings.
It didn’t take long to realize Friday would not be Indiana’s night.
The Pacers missed 14 of their first 16 shot attempts, allowing Toronto to take a 26-14 lead into the second quarter.
Indy did show some life in the second quarter, shaking off a poor first period to pull within a five points. The Raptors fought back, however, using a 10-3 run to regain a double-figure advantage. Toronto led at the half, 45-33.
In the second half, Indy briefly was within single digits, with the Raptors mainly dominant. Toronto led 72-49 after three, limiting the Pacers to only 16 third quarter points. With the game out of hand, Indiana head coach Nate McMillan opted to empty his bench in the fourth. That allowed the Raptors to cruise to a 19-point victory.
Glenn Robinson III led Indy with 12 points. Trevor Booker was the only other Pacers to score in double-figures with 11. Victor Oladipo played just 21 minutes, scoring a season-low five points. Bojan Bogdanovic (five), Thaddeus Young (four), Darren Collison (two) and Myles Turner (two) rounded out a rugged night of offense for the Blue and Gold’s starters.
The Pacers will close out the 2018 regular season with two meetings against the Charlotte Hornets. The first of those two games is slated for Sunday at 1:00 p.m.