Rudy Gay’s go-ahead jumper with 1.7 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Raptors to their second triumph in Indianapolis this season, a 100-98 victory that ended the Pacers’ 15-game home winning streak.
Gay finished with 23 points and DeMar DeRozan had 22 to help Toronto, which dealt Indiana a 74-72 defeat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Nov. 13, halt a two-game skid. Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas notched double-doubles in the win, with Johnson amassing 14 points and 14 rebounds and Valanciunas pulling down 13 boards in addition to 14 points.
Johnson also sent the game into extra time with a putback off a Gay miss an eyelash before the final horn sounded in regulation.
The Central Division-leading Pacers suffered their first setback at home since a 92-89 ousting by Denver on Dec. 7 despite a 30-point night out of David West and a 26-point, 14-rebound performance from Paul George. Indiana also had a season-high five-game overall win streak halted.
Down for most of the game and facing a 72-64 deficit after three quarters, the Raptors roared back via a 10-0 run in which Gay netted the final six points, with the recent acquisition burying a jumper that put Toronto up 74-72 with just under eight minutes left in regulation.
The Raptors were up by one with just over three minutes to go, before an 8-2 Indiana spurt that featured 3-pointers from George and George Hill which staked the Pacers to an 85-80 lead.
Toronto would fight back once more, though, with Gay throwing down a thunderous dunk with 11.3 seconds on the fourth-quarter clock to bring his team within 88-86. After two West free throws that were answered by a Johnson tip-in, Gay gave the Raptors a chance to win or tie by stealing an errant pass by West with 5.9 seconds showing.
Gay then drove the lane and threw up a shot that caromed wildly off the backboard, with Johnson corralling the rebound and putting it net as time expired to forge a 90-90 deadlock.
Lance Stephenson’s triple with 2:06 left in OT sent the Pacers ahead by a 97-96 score, but Valanciunas’ second-chance bucket on the ensuing possession gave Toronto back the lead. Hill was then fouled with 1:30 to play, but made just 1-of-2 from the stripe to tie it at 98-98.
The Pacers, who committed 18 turnovers on the night, had two giveaways in the final minute of overtime and Toronto capitalized on the final miscue, a mishandle by Hill with 10.1 seconds remaining.
Following a timeout, Gay got the ball and calmly drained a 15-foot step-back shot with a defender in his face for the deciding points, with George’s final attempt rimming out as the horn sounded.
Indiana assumed early control of the contest with a 10-2 second-quarter run sparked mainly by its reserves, with the burst turning a one-point deficit into a 37-30 lead nearing the midway mark of the frame. The Pacers were ahead by as many as nine points in the first half, but went into the break up 51-44 after DeRozan knocked down a midrange jumper at the buzzer.
The Pacers would stay in front through the entire third quarter, with the margin getting as high as 11 when a West layup with 7:20 remaining in the session made the score 63-52. Indiana’s defense held the Raptors to 33.3 percent shooting for the period as well, enabling the home team to take an eight-point margin at 72-64 into the final 12 minutes.
George poured in 15 points on a 5-of-7 success rate from the field during the opening quarter, though the Pacers held just a 26-25 edge at period’s end.
Notes: Indiana fell to 20-4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on the season … Toronto had dropped seven in a row in Indianapolis prior to its two-point victory in November … Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani scored 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting in his second game back after missing 26 straight outings with an elbow injury, helping Toronto to a 37-16 advantage in bench scoring … The Raptors improved to 2-5 in overtime games this season, while the Pacers fell to 2-2 under such conditions.
“Give credit to Toronto. They outworked us on the glass and turned us over 19 times. (On the last play in regulation) We did have a timeout…in that situation, we look for a safe in bounds and if it’s not there take a timeout. David (West) has Lance (Stephenson) streaking but I think Lance stopped. Just a miscue. I thought our guys played with a lot of mental toughness. We understood after winning three in a row in three nights we weren’t out of the clear. Sometimes weird things happen at the end of games that affect the outcome.”
“(On the final minutes of regulation time) We just didn’t make some smart plays. We lost an assignment on the initial basket, I was just careless with the ball. We just weren’t able to close the game the right way. We didn’t make many plays down the stretch. (On the final minutes in overtime) We just didn’t get shots. I turned it over trying to pass it to George. I probably should have just held on to the ball. We just didn’t make the right plays to close the game. They made us pay for it. (What changed in the fourth quarter?) We didn’t have much of a flow. They were able to get going. I thought they just had the ability to hang around and hang around. They cut the lead in half and got it to two and they were within striking distance. We were just on our heels in the fourth and we couldn’t make the plays defensively, couldn’t finish possessions with rebounds, and offensively we were just a little careless and not as decisive as we needed to be.”
“(The Raptors) just made some plays. They played hard. Credit to them. They came out ready. (On Toronto winning two games here this year) The same way we get up to play tough teams, it seems like that’s the way they’re getting ready to play us. It’s just part of the game. You get up for certain teams, and I think they do so for us. (Does the team still feel good after a very difficult week?) Yeah, we don’t want to lose at home, obviously, but we did have a tough stretch and we battled hard. It’s unfortunate that we came up short tonight, but it’s good we get some rest and it’s back at it on Monday.”