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Toronto Raptors punch ticket to 2nd round with Game 7 win over Pacers

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The Toronto Raptors beat the Indiana Pacers 89-84 in Game 7, earning their way to the second round for the first time since 2001. The Raptors will play the Miami Heat, who were able to beat the Charlotte Hornets (4-3) early today.

DeMar DeRozan had 30 points to lead the Raptors, who held the lead for the majority of the game. The Raptors had their highest lead of 16-points at the 7:31 mark of the 4th quarter, but gave up 4 turnovers in the 4th quarter to allow the Pacers to cut the lead to 3 with 52.8 seconds left in the game.

Paul George, who led the Pacers with 26 points, wasn’t able to execute on the Pacers’ final possessions, leading to them sending DeRozan to the line to seal the win in Game 7.

Offence: B

The Raptors were able to pull away with a win, despite shooting 38.2 per cent from the field. Their offence consisted of a lot of midrange jumpers, while also going 8-24 from beyond the arc. The 4th quarter for the Raptors was some of their worst basketball, with them only scoring 11 points while giving up 4 turnovers.

When they did make baskets, it was because of their ball movement that created 21 assists for their 34 made field goals. DeRozan still played a lot of iso-ball, but led all scorers with 30 points on 31.3 per cent shooting. Other Raptors were also able to step up, like Patrick Patterson who scored three 3-pointers for the Raptors in the 3rd quarter, to help them go on an 11-2 run to start the half.

Norman Powell and Cory Joseph were the only Raptors player to shoot over 50 per cent from the field, combining for 21 points on 9-14 shooting. They were huge off the bench in creating an offensive spark with the four other Raptors to score in double digits.

Defence: B+

When the Raptors limited the Pacers to under 90 points this series, they were are 3-0.

Tonight, they limited Indiana to 84 points, and not one quarter of scoring more than 25 points. The Raptors held the Pacers to 46.6 per cent shooting from the field, but during the 4th quarter they allowed them to hit their stride by converting on 50 per cent of their shots.

The Raptors were horrible once again at containing the 3-ball, with the Pacers shooting 47.4 per cent from beyond the arc. The Raptors were able to be effective defensively in other ways, like with the 5 turnovers they forced the Pacers into during 4th quarter, and the 7 blocked shots they had throughout the entire game.

Rebounding: A+

The Raptors won this game by crashing the boards, beating the Pacers 49-38 in that department.

The biggest rebounds came on the offensive end, when the Raptors picked up 6 of their 18 offensive rebounds in the 4th quarter. Jonas Valanciunas finished with 15 rebounds, to give him a double-double with 10 points. Bismack Biyombo also provided his usually intensity in his 19 minutes of action, hustling in 11 boards.

The Pacers were led by George, who had 12 rebounds to go along with a team high 26 points on 4-7 shooting from 3-point distance.

Game Ball: DeMar DeRozan

If the Raptors lost Game 7, their fans would be screaming from all “views” to let DeRozan walk in the summer.

Instead, their all-star responded with a 30-point game, no matter how ugly it looked at times. He was only able to shoot 31.3 per cent from the field, but he stayed aggressive throughout the entire game looking for opportunities. In his almost 40 minutes of action he attacked the basket, which help him draw fouls and go 9-9 from the line.

He was also active on defence, hustling in 3 steals and 2 blocks to give the Raptors a defensive edge while he was on the floor.


All stats for this article are from NBA.com

You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97



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