Pacers 95, Raptors 90

The Indiana Pacers fell behind by 16 points and leading scorer

Danny Granger was ejected. That was just the first half.

Still, they found a way to win.

Tyler Hansbrough made two key free throws with less than 15

seconds to play and the Pacers rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors

95-90 on Friday night.

”I’m proud of our guys for grinding out a game that didn’t

really go our way, being able to find a way to win and execute in

the fourth quarter,” coach Frank Vogel said.

George Hill scored a season-high 22 points for the Pacers, while

Roy Hibbert fouled out with 15 points and nine rebounds. Hansbrough

and David West each scored 13 and Paul George added 10.

”That’s us,” Hill said of Indiana’s fight-back. ”We’ve got to

play with a chip on our shoulder. Eighth place last year is not

good enough for us. We feel like we can be one of the top teams in

the East.”

The Pacers (8-3) have won two straight and four of five.

DeMar DeRozan had 23 points and Leandro Barbosa came off the

bench to score 20 for the Raptors, who have lost three straight and

five or six.

Jose Calderon had 15 points and nine assists for Toronto, who

made just 20 of 32 free throw attempts, including eight misses in

the fourth quarter.

Granger was ejected in the second quarter after being called for

his second technical foul. Granger got his first technical for

arguing a non-call three minutes into the first quarter, then

picked up his second for staring down Toronto’s Ed Davis after a

blocked shot with 29 seconds left in the half.

”Not a smart play,” Vogel said. ”When you already have a

technical, it’s not a smart play.”

Hill said Granger, who did not speak to the media, apologized to

the Pacers once the game was done.

Granger came in leading Indiana with 15.9 points per game but

struggled against the Raptors, shooting just 1 of 8 and scoring

four points.

While he was upset at losing Granger, Vogel said he feels his

team has seven players who are starter caliber, a sentiment shared

by West.

”We know that we’ve got enough depth on this team that if

somebody is struggling, there’s another guy there who can get it

going,” West said. ”If we can continue to stay together and

continue to play unselfishly, we’re going to have an opportunity to

win games like we did tonight.”

The score was tied 65-65 heading into the fourth but neither

team was able to take control, with the margin never exceeding two

points until the final 15 seconds.

DeRozan was fouled on a driving layup with 1:07 left but failed

to convert the three-point play. West answered with a running hook

shot, putting the Pacers up 90-88 with 54 seconds remaining.

After a Toronto timeout, Hibbert fouled out on Amir Johnson’s

game-tying layup. Like DeRozan, Johnson also failed to make his

free throw, keeping the score knotted at 90-90 with 32 seconds to

go.

At the other end, Johnson sent West to the line. He made the

first but missed the second, and Hansbrough was fouled after

grabbing the rebound, Johnson’s sixth foul. Hansbrough made both,

giving the Pacers a three-point edge.

Toronto’s Jamaal Magloire was fouled at the other end but missed

both free throws, airballing his first attempt. Indiana’s Darren

Collison capped it by making two free throws.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey acknowledged it was a mistake for

Magloire, a poor free throw shooter, to touch the ball in a

situation that called for a foul.

”I take full blame for that,” Casey said. ”I should not have

had him handling the ball. I should have had Ed Davis at the

top.”

Things went better for the Raptors in the opening half. Calderon

fed James Johnson for an alley-oop dunk, giving Toronto their

biggest lead of the game, 40-24, with 6:30 left in the second. But

Collison and Granger each scored four points as the Pacers closed

the half with a 16-5 run, cutting it to 45-40 at the break.

Davis, who had six points and 10 rebounds, made his first start

of the season in place of Andrea Bargnani, who left in the third

quarter of Wednesday’s loss to Sacramento with a strained left

calf. Bargnani is day to day.

NOTES: The Pacers finished 32 for 38 at the free throw line. …

Indiana began a stretch that will see them play nine of 12 away

from home. … Toronto’s 27 first-quarter points were a

season-high. … The Pacers outrebounded the Raptors 36-35,

improving to 6-0 this season when they hold the rebounding

advantage. … The Raptors open a three-game road trip at Chicago

on Saturday. The game against the Bulls will be Toronto’s seventh

in nine days.