Losing a heart-breaker at home to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, the Toronto Raptors were definitely hungry for a win, against one of the East’s elite, in the Indiana Pacers. With gritty defense, jaw dropping plays, and an electrifying finish, the Toronto Raptors were able to come away on top, 100-98 (Final OT). Despite choking two nights ago and heading on a flight to Indiana with their heads down, the Toronto Raptors find themselves in rejoice, as they managed to showcase their capability in finishing off close games down the stretch. Not just once, but TWICE in one night. After an Amir Johnson buzzer-beater to tie it at 90 and sending it to overtime, it was newly acquired Rudy Gay who shun in the spotlight later on. With 10 seconds to go in the extra frame, Rudy Gay knocked down a clutch pull up jumper, nailing it right in front of Paul George. With just 1.7 seconds remaining on the clock afterwards, Gay’s shot turned out to be tonight’s game winner, leaving everyone in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, in complete awe.
Anytime you’re able to score 100 points and come out victorious in a game against the league’s best defense, your offense definitely deserves a little bit of praise. It was indeed no walk in the park offensively for the Raptors, as they worked for every bucket they got on the offensive end. The ball movement wasn’t terrific, as the Raptors offensive possessions consisted of iso’s, and contested jump shots throughout the night.
The Toronto Raptors did a heck of a job on the glass tonight, as they out-rebounding the Indiana Pacers (46-42).With a dynamic front-court in which the Pacers possess; the Raptors front-court themselves, did an excellent job in battling on the glass. As good as the Raptors were all night, it was the offensive rebounding that helped the Raptors in this one, allowing them to regain possessions, especially down the stretch.
Although the first half was rather sloppy for the Raptors on the defensive end, they really did a solid job in terms of not allowing the Pacers’ offense to execute efficiently in the second half. Their help defense was terrific, and they did an excellent job in shutting down a prolific scorer, and All-Star in Paul George throughout the second half as well.
Game Ball: Rudy Gay
Although there are a few players deserving of the game ball tonight, I think it comes to no surprise that it should go to the man receiving the entire spotlight, in Rudy Gay. Although he shot just 9/25 from the field, Rudy Gay did what he does best, and took over the game in the fourth quarter, along with overtime. He scored 17 points during that span, including a game-winning jump shot with 1.7 seconds remaining in OT, leaving Pacers’ fans with heartbreak.
Photo Source: The Associated Press