DeMar DeRozan knew exactly what was needed to get the job done and beat the Pacers at their own game. His game plan was simple, speed it the plays and wear them down. And with the Raptors winning 106-99, it seems DeRozan was on the ball last night.
Last night’s win extended Toronto’s ten-game winning streak. The second half saw DeRozan doubling down efforts and scoring sixteen of his twenty-four for the night. Jonas Valanciunas also scored sixteen points and seventeen rebounds that collectively allowed the Raptors to beat the Pacers 106-99.
Said DeRozan after last night’s game,
“When things aren’t going our way, we don’t let the adversity get to us. Once we got the lead, we understand when to push the ball, how to push the ball, get stops, get the momentum. We understand the small things that occur in a game and we try to use that to our advantage.”
Toronto is the hottest team right now and is sitting number one in the Eastern Conference. They have won seventeen of the last eighteen games and within one for a record for the most consecutive wins for the franchise.
Last night’s winover the Indiana Pacers however required all Toronto had while completing their current road trip. The Raptors had a strong rebounding edge, mostly thanks to Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas. C.J Miles, a former Pacer before joining the Raptors sunk three-pointers to help Toronto keep pace in a game they trailed in for most of it.
DeRozan, as usual, came out charging shooting eight of fifteen and finished the night with seven assists to demonstrate the toughness that Raptors Coach Casey felt was missing when the Pacers were in town last.
Said Dwayne Casey,
“To be successful in this league, you have to have grit. That’s something our guys have developed. As long as we have that grit and togetherness, we’ll be OK.”
As for Indiana, the loss was one that was bitter. While Al Jefferson has his best scoring game of the season, and Darren Collison scored twenty-two points, the Pacers led the game most of the way and were on a three-game winning streak. The Pacers had a small Central Division lead and last night’s loss may see that evaporate.
Said Coach Nate McMillan about the fourth-quarter,
“We didn’t keep our heads, kind of got emotionally drunk out there and gave up some easy baskets and some fouls. You have to remain solid in close games like that.”
The first quarter saw Indian talking control, and that control stayed in place until the fourth when Raptors Delon Wright sunk two free throws giving Toronto an 89-88 lead with only seven minutes to play. Wright and DeRozan were on top of the lead making back-to-back baskets and increased the lead to 100-92 with three minutes left in the fourth. Thereafter it just seemed to go to the wayside for the Pacers who could not recover.
NBA Sportbetting sites will be gearing up for a busy Raptors weekend with Toronto playing host to the Mavericks on Friday night and The Dallas Thunder on Sunday for an afternoon game. Whether Toronto continues with thier winning streak and makes it 12 in row will soon be seen, either way, the Raptors are on fire and are in a strong position to win the Eastern Conference this season.