INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The Indiana Pacers showed resiliency against the Toronto Raptors as they climbed out of a 21-point first quarter deficit to ultimately get a 106-90 win. With the Raptors missing DeMarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas, the Pacers could not let up this opportunity to get a win.
The Pacers were down 26-5 at the six-minute mark in the first quarter. It appeared that the trend of recent poor play was going to unfortunately continue. However, the bench for the Pacers had other plans. Indiana used a 22-0 run in the second half of the opening quarter, which ended up making the final score of the opening quarter 28-27 with the Raptors leading by just 1-point. Towards the end of the opening quarter, Paul George gave the Pacers their first lead (28-27) after making an off the dribble 3-pointer. That was a momentum shifting basket that carried over for the Pacers into the second quarter.
Momentum was on Indiana’s side during the second quarter. The Pacers took their first lead of the second quarter at the 11:37 mark of the second quarter, at this point, Indiana was leading 29-28. Toronto would never lead at any point of this game again. It truly was the Pacers’ ball-game after that opening six-minute span of the game. Indiana out-scored Toronto by a score of 101-65 from that point on. This was a strange game because the Pacers managed to trail by 21-points in the opening quarter, but also come back from that deficit and hold a one point lead towards the end of the same quarter. But regardless, the Pacers managed to finish well and show resiliency.
Toronto appeared to have played two different games tonight. They were absolutely phenomenal in the opening six minutes as they shot 10/12 from the field and held a 26-5 lead. But unfortunately for the Raptors, there was still 42 minutes of action left. Toronto shot 19-69 for the rest of the game and they were out-scored 101-64 to close the game.
Jordan Hill led the way for the Pacers tonight. He posted 20 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Indiana has had a great deal of success this season when Hill has been playing well. The Pacers are 4-0 this season when Jordan Hill has a double-double, also, they are 8-3 when Hill scores in double-figures.
Monta Ellis was big for the Pacers on both sides of the ball as well. Ellis has 18 points, 3 steals, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. He played with great energy and was a spark plug for the Pacers in many points of the game when they started to let their lead slip. Ellis has really started to play quality basketball for the Pacers.
C.J. Miles was crucial for Indiana too. Miles had 17 points and was perfect efficiency wise from the perimeter as he shot 5/5 from deep. Miles added 4 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block. Indiana utilized Miles arguably the best in this game that they have all season. Miles has been an x-factor for the Pacers this season. Miles only had to play 23 minutes in this game.
Paul George struggled to efficiently score in the first half, but he came back with a 10-point quarter in the third. George finished with 16 points on the night and he added 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. Indiana’s offense is a work in progress, so George’s production should go back up to previous levels once they get back to spacing the floor and timing their movements well again. George only had to play 24 minutes in this game.
George Hill and Ian Mahinmi both struggled tonight, but Hill salvaged his performance by scoring all of his 6 points in the fourth quarter. Hill played 35 minutes and had 6 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. It was a different story for Mahinmi as he had foul trouble problems throughout the entire game. Mahinmi played just 14 minutes and had 2 points and 2 rebounds.
The bench was fantastic in this game, as previously mentioned, Jordan Hill led the way for second unit. Rodney Stuckey had 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Lavoy Allen had 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists. Chase Budinger struggled to shoot the ball, but he finished with 5 points, and 4 rebounds. This unit did a fantastic job on both sides of the ball, but their energy was the best of all.
The shooting efficiency was great and was a major factor in this game; 41-86 (47.7%) from the field, 10-22 (45.5%) from the perimeter, and 14-16 (87.5%) from the free throw line. Pacers forced the Raptors to shoot just 29-79 (36.7%) from the field, 10-28 (35.7%) from the perimeter, and 22-26 (84.6%) from the free throw line.
Indiana owned the paint as they scored 48 points in the paint, as opposed to the 20 points in the paint by the Raptors. Toronto held a narrow rebounding advantage, but it didn’t make a difference in the end. The Pacers had 44 total rebounds, 33 defensive rebounds, and 11 offensive rebounds. Meanwhile, the Raptors had 45 total rebounds, 30 defensive rebounds, and 15 offensive rebounds.
The Pacers did a tremendous job of forcing turnovers and a solid job of taking care of the basketball. Indiana had 14 turnovers as a team and allowed 20 points off of these turnovers. That isn’t an ideal amount of points to allow off of turnovers, but they still held an advantage in both turnovers and points scored off turnovers. Toronto had 21 turnovers as a team and allowed 22 points off of these turnovers. Indiana did a better job of pushing the tempo and executing doing so, they had 14 fast break points, meanwhile, the Raptors had 3.
Indiana did a quality job of passing the ball and moving without the ball in spurts, but they didn’t do either well for the entire 48 minutes. Indiana still managed to hold an advantage in assists. The Pacers had 14 assists and the Raptors only managed to get 10 assists. Neither of those numbers are good, but the Pacers simply did enough in this area to hold an advantage over their opposition, which is always the goal.