Raptors duo hold key to overtime victory over Pacers

DeMar DeRozan (left) of the Toronto Raptors dribbling the ball against the Indiana Pacers on March 17.
DeMar DeRozan (left) of the Toronto Raptors dribbling the ball against the Indiana Pacers on March 17. PHOTO: AFP

INDIANAPOLIS • The Toronto Raptors continue to build a solid case for at least the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, and may have what it takes to reel in the Cleveland Cavaliers, who now lead the Raptors by only two games in the loss column.

That is in large part because Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan make big plays when big plays are needed, which was the case on Thursday.

The Raptors pair scored 28 points apiece, and Toronto pulled away from the Indiana Pacers in overtime for a 101-94 victory.

They scored nine quick overtime points, helping the Raptors (46-21) take a 94-88 lead with 1min 17sec remaining.

"We understand that someone on our team is eventually going to get hot late in a game," DeRozan said.

"I started to hit some, and then Kyle got it going as well.

"We did a good job on Paul George, but that's everybody following the scouting report and understanding what they try to do. When you make it difficult for them, it's tough to shoot well."

Indiana (36-32) slipped to 1-7 in overtime games. The Pacers got 18 points apiece from George and George Hill, but George was only seven of 24 from the field, including only one of 9 from three-point range.

Toronto coach Dwane Casey said two factors won it for the Raptors.

"Our defence won it, along with Bismack (Biyombo) getting 25 rebounds," Casey said.

"If we had one more guy to rebound, it would really help us, but he did a hell of a job on the boards."

Indiana, who had 13 points from C.J. Miles and 12 from Solomon Hill, forced overtime when Monta Ellis made one of two free throws with 14.2sec left in regulation.

The Pacers, though, had no answer for DeRozan and Lowry in the extra five minutes.

Indiana coach Frank Vogel was disappointed with the way the Pacers played.

"They made big plays down the stretch," Vogel said.

"We couldn't contain Lowry and DeRozan, and they really attacked our bigs."

One of those bigs was rookie forward Myles Turner, who had nine points and 10 rebounds but was limited to 18:12 because of foul trouble. He finished with five fouls on a night when the Raptors were 30 of 38 from the free-throw line, and the Pacers were 16 of 23.

"It's very frustrating," Turner said. "Biyombo is very active, and tonight, he was really effective."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2016, with the headline 'Raptors duo hold key to overtime victory over Pacers'. Print Edition | Subscribe