The Toronto Raptors defeat the Indiana Pacers, 98-87, tying the series at one game a piece.
You can breathe now, Raptors fans…at least until Thursday.
Jonas Valanciunas led the team to a much-needed victory, earning another double-double: scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.
DeMar DeRozan continued to struggle from the field, scoring 10 points on 5-18 shooting. Coach Dwane Casey would have him sit out for the entire fourth quarter.
Kyle Lowry also had his offensive struggles (4-13 shooting), but passed the ball extremely well- leading the team with nine assists. Lowry also shot a perfect 10-10 from the charity stripe, compared to going 4-9 in the first game.
Near the end of the first half, Terrence Ross collided with DeRozan. Ross underwent a concussion protocol and sat the rest of the game for precautionary reasons.
For the Pacers, Paul George had himself another offensive outing, scoring 28 points, including two threes. Monta Ellis was able to score 15 points, while dishing out five assists.
Post Game Report Card
The Raptors were able to get into an offensive rhythm early on, thanks to a stellar performance from Valanciunas. The Raptors were able to outscore the Pacers in the paint, 46-30.
The bench also came out to play tonight. Cory Joseph scored 16 points, on 6-8 shooting, thanks to his stellar ability to finish at the rim.
Patrick Patterson was a key player tonight with 14 points, shooting a perfect 2-2 from beyond the arc. Patterson also provided valuable spacing- something the Raptors struggled with on Saturday.
Below, DeRozan goes for the dunk, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Patterson blocking out George.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 19, 2016
The Raptors played stellar defence, especially in the fourth quarter. A major issue from game 1 was containing Paul George, but tonight- the Raptors got the job done. The combination of DeMarre Carroll and Norman Powell were able to defend the all star…for the most part.
Prime example: look at this shot, you just can’t stop that:
PG for three! https://t.co/YVQseLxd4E
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 19, 2016
On a surprising note, Lowry was also able to contain George. In one possession, Lowry was able to tip the ball away from George not once, but twice- igniting the sea of purple at the Air Canada Centre.
It was an all-around effort on the glass tonight. The Raptors beat the Pacers in this category, 44-33. In offensive rebounds, they doubled Indiana, 12-6.
Valanciunas grabbed 15 boards, Lowry grabbed seven and Patterson grabbed six. The rest of the team, with the exception of Thompson and Wright (who played in the final two minutes), grabbed at least one rebound.
Game Ball: Jonas Valanciunas
Is the all star backcourt struggling once again? Send in the big man.
Valanciunas was on another mission tonight and this time it ended with a win. JV earned himself another double-double: 23 points and 15 rebounds. His performance tonight makes him the third Raptor to record 21 points and 12 rebounds in a playoff game. The only other two Raptors to do this: Chris Bosh and Antonio Davis.
Whether it was off a lob, in the post, or at the charity stripe- Valanciunas could not be stopped. Another key aspect to his performance was staying out of foul trouble. While he picked up two personal fouls in the first quarter, Jonas only picked up two more for the remainder of the game.
JV could score, defend and rebound- he could do everything. That’s why he earns tonight’s Game Ball.