Familiar issues cropped up in a loss to a familiar opponent, with rebounding and three point shooting sending the Indiana Pacers into their latest alternating loss, dropping to the Toronto Raptors on the road. From the outset, the Pacers had no answer for the familiar rebounding dominance from Jonas Valanciunas, leading to four extra points in an eight point first quarter.
The Pacers never truly recovered from that start, trailing by double figures at half and never cutting it closer than 12 in the second half. The Raptors limped into this game offensively, but had no issues breaking out of that slump against the Pacers. Toronto had 62 first half points and shot 50% for the game, going 12-27 from three point range. The Pacers meanwhile shot just 41%, hitting six three pointers.
Toronto played very well tonight, but also took advantage of the Pacers playing without much awareness. Bad decisions on fast breaks didn’t pair well with Indiana’s lack of attentiveness on defense; not stopping plays at the rim and not getting out to cover three point shooters.
Paul George led the Pacers with 18 points, but as far as individual performances, it was a game where someone had to lead the Pacers in scoring. George shot 50% for the night, but at only 14 attempts, was never able to lift his game as he has recently. Thaddeus Young showed some positive signs offensively with 16 points, hitting a three.
Jeff Teague scored 16 as well, but it was his lack of awareness at times that took away points from the Pacers in failing to pass out of a fast break and also trying to step away from a shooter coming at him, ultimately resulting in an offensive foul. Myles Turner led the Pacers with five rebounds, which highlights how bad the Pacers were on the glass, with Toronto winning the rebounding battle 51-33.
Monta Ellis led the bench with 10 points, but outside of a six point, five rebound game from Rakeem Christmas, there was no help from the bench, especially with Rodney Stuckey and Glenn Robinson III failing to hit a field goal, and combining for as many turnovers as points (three).
The Pacers return home for the second night of a back-to-back tomorrow against the Utah Jazz. It’s a game that seriously threatens to send Indiana into a second straight loss. In the meantime, however, losses from their competition has kept Indiana firmly in sixth place, a game up on 7th place Milwaukee, and 1 1⁄2 games ahead of Miami and Detroit.