Pacers 93, Raptors 81
Paul George and the Indiana Pacers wanted payback for a pair of
home losses to Toronto. They got it Friday night against the
suddenly struggling Raptors.
George had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and David West added 15
points and 11 rebounds in Indiana’s 93-81 victory over Toronto.
”This is a huge win,” George said. ”This team beat us twice
at home and we came here trying to get some revenge. We really
wanted to win this one tonight.”
Roy Hibbert returned from a one-game suspension to score 18
points as the Central Division leaders won for the sixth time in
seven games. Hibbert sat out Thursday’s home loss to the Clippers
after a shoving match with David Lee in Tuesday’s victory over
”Clearly we’re a different team (with Hibbert),” Indiana coach
Frank Vogel said. ”He guards the rim as well as any big guy in the
NBA. He’s a big factor in why we’re the No. 1 defensive team in the
league and he gives us some offensive punch, too.”
Rudy Gay scored 21 points and Alan Anderson had 14 for the
Raptors, who have lost three straight and four of five.
Gay was bothered by back spasms but said the pain was nothing
”I tried to play through it because it’s not the time to sit
out,” he said.
George scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, nine of them on
3-pointers, including one with 9:56 left that put the Pacers up
72-53, their biggest lead of the game.
”That was when the game was decided, for sure,” Vogel
This was the first time in four meetings between the teams this
season that the margin of victory was more than two points. The
Pacers won 90-88 at Toronto on opening night, Oct. 31, but had
since lost twice at home, 74-72 on Nov. 13, and 100-98 in overtime
on Feb. 8.
That loss, in which the Pacers coughed up a late lead, snapped a
15-game home winning streak and left Indiana focused on this return
encounter as a chance for revenge.
”We wanted to make sure we got that win tonight,” Hibbert
said. ”We felt we let one go the last time we played them.”
Making his fourth appearance of the season after a 55-game
absence caused by a left knee injury, Indiana’s Danny Granger
scored eight points in 10 minutes. He was rested in the second half
with the Pacers on the second night of a back-to-back.
With Chicago idle, Indiana increased its lead atop the Central
Division to 3 1/2 games. The Pacers host the Bulls on Sunday
”This team is growing. We’re getting better,” Hibbert said.
”Danny is back and we’ve got guys who are going to step up and
Toronto’s 12 assists were one more than its season low of 11 in
a Nov. 28 loss at Memphis.
”You’re not going to get a lot done with that against a good
offensive team,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
The Raptors fell 6 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the race for
the final playoff berth in the East. They visit the Bucks on
”We have no choice but to come out tomorrow and play our best
basketball,” DeMar DeRozan said. ”We’ve had three tough games and
we’ve been struggling, so we have to come out and bounce
Indiana made just seven of 20 shots in the first period but
Toronto was even worse, hitting only three of 17 attempts. The
Raptors kept it close by making seven of eight at the free throw
line, but the Pacers led 17-13 after one thanks to six points from
Granger. Toronto’s 13 points in the first were a season low.
DeRozan had the most impressive basket of the second quarter, a
one-handed jam over Ian Mahinmi with 6 seconds left. DeRozan scored
six points in the second but the Pacers got six from Hibbert to
lead 39-34 at halftime.
Hibbert and West each scored eight points in the third as the
Pacers closed the quarter on an 11-4 run, taking a 64-51 lead into
NOTES: Indiana outrebounded Toronto 43-30. … The Raptors have
not won a season series against Indiana since 2007-08. … Toronto
went 7-5 in February, its first winning month since January 2010,
when it was 10-5. … Saturday’s game at Milwaukee is the first of
a four-game road trip for the Raptors. They’ll also visit Golden
State, Phoenix and the Lakers. … Actor Steve Schirripa attended