The Toronto Raptors secured their 30th win of the season tonight after defeating the Indiana Pacers 104-91. The win also allows the Raptors to move into second in the East for the time being barring a Wizards loss later this evening. The Raptors push their current winning streak to 3 games and look to have regained their form on the defensive end. DeMar DeRozan looks to have his legs back as he put in an assertive performance scoring 24 points on 7/15 shooting. Toronto started out this contest slow trailing 9-0 for longest three minutes of my life. Toronto regained focus and began executing their methodical attack which started on the defensive end. The second quarter marked the beginning of the end for the Pacers as the Raptors locked down defensively. Toronto’s bench was also of tremendous help in this game contributing 41 points.
Toronto’s next game is against Rudy Gay and the Sacramento Kings tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre. Look out for that pre-game!
The offence didn’t seem to have it all together early on for Toronto as they went scoreless for the first three minutes of the game. The Raptors ended up shooting 47% on the night which is respectable. They were flat and their feet looked like they were stuck in mud but Toronto was able to get some energy from the likes of Patrick Patterson and Lou Williams and turned things around quickly. The Raptors caught fire late taking Indiana out of the game with three-bomb after three-bomb. Kyle Lowry played a strong game falling short of a just short of a triple-double with a line of 19 points 7 rebounds and 8 assists. He was active in getting his teammates involved and it appears that the synergy between him an his backcourt partner (DeRozan…not Vasquez) has returned.
Toronto’s defensive effort was focused from the second quarter on. Toronto’s offence succeeded as a result of key defensive stops dictating the pace of the play on the other end of the court. Toronto seemed more conscientious tonight about their possessions after getting a stop. Not only were their heads on straight tonight, but their feet were moving as well. Toronto had excellent recovery rotations against Indiana which often forced them into contest shots. The second unit’s defence was key in Toronto establishing a lead and securing victory tonight. The Raptors starters just came to seal the deal.
Against rebounding beasts like David West and Roy Hibbert, the Raptors did a commendable job on the glass. They were out-rebounded by a single board, but the effort was there from Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson all night.
Game Ball: DeMar DeRozan
Lowry may have filled up the stat-sheet tonight but tonight’s game ball goes to guard DeMar DeRozan. After missing over month from injury DeRozan has shaken off the rust. His motions look smooth and he’s getting to where he needs to be. Indiana is a team that suffers on the offensive end of the floor; they’ve always been a solid defensive team under Frank Vogel. DeMar DeRozan finished with a line of 24 points and 6 rebounds.