For so many years, Indiana Pacers fans were spoiled with the way Mark Jackson and Reggie Miller worked together to make plays at winning time. Late in the fourth quarter of a tight game, whatever mess happened in the first 40 some odd minutes doesn't mean a thing. because it can all turn into a painless learning experience if you can close out a win by making key buckets down the stretch.
Danny Granger and David West took turns closing out the Raptors for a road win that will be valued by the Pacers simply for the W and not the form with which they played. But the mere fact that the Pacers found a way to keep Toronto at bay late in the game, a task that has been a struggle since, well, Reggie was around to hit a big shot or put away a win at the free throw line, was a huge take away from this game for the current Pacers to build on.
Even the execution on the big shots wasn't real pretty until the ball splashed through the net. Granger had to scoop up a loose ball from a flailing Darren Collison to hit one of his threes and West was knocked down as he snuck his game winner over the defense. The Pacers had options down the stretch without regard to who would win the game, instead focusing on the winning plays, which showed up when Granger was the first to greet West with a chest bump after the power forward put the game on ice.
So the Pacers go back to work with plenty of issues to focus on, but at 2-0 the Pacers are one of three unbeaten teams in the East which is a nice change after a couple of years of finding new and creative ways to lose games.
Check out the links after the jump.
- Box Score: Pacers 90, Raptors 85
- PACERS: Rewind: Pacers vs. Toronto 111230
- Yes, the Pacers actually got a quality shot at the end of a game | Pacers Insider blog | The Indianapolis Star | IndyStar.com
- Pacers hang on for 90-85 win over Raptors | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Raptors do the pounding, but Pacers spoil the party - The Toronto Globe And Mail
- Indiana Pacers spoil Toronto Raptors home opener at Air Canada Centre | Basketball | Sports | National Post
- Pacers Improve to 2-0 After Holding Off the Best Basketball Team in Canada | Eight Points, Nine Seconds