Pacers 90, Raptors 85
The Indiana Pacers learned plenty about what it takes to win close games during last season's playoff loss to Chicago. Now, with David West on their side, they've got another option for those late-game situations.
Granger hit a key 3-pointer with 1:14 left and West followed with a fadeaway jumper to help stave off a Toronto rally.
''We have so many weapons down the stretch,'' Granger said. ''We have so many options. I think it's going to be the mark of us being a good team.
Toronto coach Dwane Casey said his defense didn't react quickly enough on either shot.
''Those two plays, with kind of hesitant rotation, really broke our back,'' Casey said.
West, who scored 14 points, enjoys getting the ball with the game on the line.
''If there's a play to be made, I'm just not going to back down from it,'' West said. ''That's a situation I want to thrive in.''
Darren Collison became the fifth Pacers starter to reach double figures by making a pair of free throws with 2.5 seconds left. He finished with 10 points and 12 assists.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel has told his team to think back and take inspiration from last season's Chicago series every time they go away from home this year.
''We treat it like a playoff game, quite frankly,'' Vogel said. ''We said in the pregame film session, if we're going to be .500 or better on the road, we've got to come into these buildings and treat them like playoff games.''
Indiana's road record will be tested early: This was the first game in a stretch that will see the Pacers play 15 of 21 on the road. But George is confident the lessons learned during last year's postseason appearance will bear fruit.
''That playoff experience has definitely put us in the right mind on how hard we need to play,'' he said.
Indiana, which beat Detroit at home on Monday, won for the seventh time in 11 games against Toronto, and snapped a streak of 11 straight victories by the home team in the series.
''(DeRozan) single-handedly got us back in the game offensively,'' Casey said.
Indiana led by as many as 14 points in the fourth before Toronto came back. A 3-pointer by DeRozan and three-point play by Jose Calderon cut it to 80-74 with 3:26 left, forcing the Pacers to call timeout.
Granger's 3-pointer made it 83-75 with 2:19 to play, but Toronto wasn't done. DeRozan hit a 3 and Bargnani followed with a three-point play, cutting it to 83-81 with 1:35 remaining.
Once again, a long-range shot from Granger gave Indiana some breathing room, with his 3-pointer from the wing pushing it to 86-81 with 1:14 left.
Calderon answered with a layup for Toronto but West's fadeaway jumper with nine seconds to play restored Indiana's five-point cushion.
''We've got a lot of guys on the team that can hit big shots,'' Collison said. ''When you add D-West, it just gives us so many more options.''
The Pacers led 38-34 at the half.
NOTES: Indiana outrebounded Toronto 41-39. ... The Raptors had won five straight home games against the Pacers. ... Toronto made 19 turnovers while Indiana had 16. ... For the second straight game, Raptors backup C Aaron Gray was kept out as a precaution because of a rapid heart rate. ... Pacers C Jeff Foster (back) did not travel with the team to Toronto. ... Raptors F James Johnson had six steals, a career high. ... It's the first time since 2000 that the Raptors have lost consecutive home openers. They were beaten by the New York Knicks last season. ... Canadian pop star Justin Bieber watched from a courtside seat.