By Daniel Massa | Pacers.com
Despite a season-high 36 points from Victor Oladipo, the Indiana Pacers (12-11) fell to the Toronto Raptors (14-7) 120-115 on Friday night at the Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors, who lost to the Pacers 107-104 last Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, held the lead for the entire second half and severely outplayed the Pacers down low, outscoring Indiana 70-44 in points in the paint.
“I didn’t think that we played the game the right way,” Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. “I thought offensively we didn’t have the ball movement, I thought we were taking some tough shots. I thought our mind was more on the offensive end before and getting our shots, getting involved on the offensive end as opposed to focusing on defending, getting stops and working together.”
Indiana took an early 8-7 first-quarter lead before the Raptors reeled off a 7-0 run to force a Pacers timeout. Toronto’s run would set the table for a series of runs from both teams throughout the first half.
The Pacers had a 14-0 run late in the first frame to open up a 26-18 lead. Former Pacers sharpshooter CJ Miles hit a 3-pointer to end that run.
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The two teams traded baskets the rest of the quarter, with Indiana taking a 32-27 lead into the second. That marked the 11th 30-point first quarter so far this season for the Blue & Gold.
Neither team led by more than two possessions for most of the second quarter. However, the Raptors took control late, utilizing a 17-4 run in the last 3:11 to pull ahead at halftime, 65-58.
Toronto kept the Pacers at arm’s length during the third quarter, holding at least a four-point lead throughout the frame. The Pacers did win the quarter, 31-29, and headed to the final 12 minutes down 94-89.
Two Oladipo free throws and a Thaddeus Young tip-in to open the final quarter brought the Pacers within one, but Toronto responded with an 18-5 run to build a 112-98 lead.
The Pacers did well to fight back and cut the deficit down to five, 116-111, with under two minutes to go, but failed to capitalize on a couple of chances to get any closer.
Darren Collison missed a 3-pointer, but the Raptors’ Serge Ibaka let the rebound slip out of his hands and fall out of bounds. Lance Stephenson missed a 3 on the ensuing possession, and Bojan Bogdanovic failed to convert a contested fastbreak layup following an Oladipo steal on Toronto’s next possession.
Oladipo’s 36 points led all scorers and perhaps had his best all-around performance of the season. He finished 14-of-22 from the field and also had seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks.
Myles Turner (17), Young (12) and Stephenson (11) also reached double figures for Indiana, while DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 26 points, including 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
Indiana begins a six-game homestand on Monday night when they host the New York Knicks at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Inside the Numbers
The Raptors shot 58.5 percent (38-of-65) inside the arc, helping to offset shooting just 31 (10-of-32) percent from 3-point range.
Oladipo logged his third 30-point game of the season.
Indiana did a better job of getting to the free-throw line (22 attempts) after taking a season-low six shots from the charity stripe on Wednesday in Houston.
The Pacers did not lack for scoring chances, tying a season-high with 102 field goal attempts.
You Can Quote Me On That
“We knew this team, especially this team averaging 47 points, they are fourth in the league at scoring in the paint. That was game plan number one, to keep them out of the paint, keep them off of the free throw line. To give up 70 points, is just not good at all. There is no excuse for that, just no excuse.” -Pacers head coach Nate McMillan
“We just didn’t make any shots. They did a great job of playing on both ends obviously. They did a great job of moving the ball, so credit them for that. It was a tough loss; we have to learn from it. We have a home stretch coming up that’s going to be huge for us, so we have to be ready to play.” -Victor Oladipo
“Toronto is a special place for me, obviously I’m from here. Checked into the game and the crowd gave me a nice loud cheer, and I was happy about that. I’m glad I left here on good terms. I was excited to be back; obviously not too happy now that we lost but it was good overall.” -Cory Joseph
Stat of the Night
The Raptors outscored the Pacers 70-44 in points in the paint.
- Tonight was just the third game this season in which Bojan Bogdanovic did not make a 3-pointer
- Despite the large inside scoring advantage, Toronto only managed to win the rebounding battle by one (47-46)
- Tonight marked the second consecutive game that Domantas Sabonis failed to reach double figures after previously eclipsing 10 points in 7 of 8
- The Raptors have now won three straight games, while the Pacers lost their second in a row
The Pacers tip off a six-game homestand as they face the New York Knicks on Monday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »
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