Thursday, January 27 2022

The Toronto Raptors will be going for a split in their six-game road trip when they play the Indiana Pacers at Indianapolis on Friday night.

The Raptors won for the second time in the first five games of the trip Wednesday night, 126-113 over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Pacers, who had won their two previous games, lost 124-116 in overtime Wednesday to the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.

The Raptors, who are 7-4 on the road overall this season, won the first two meetings with the Pacers this season and have taken six of the past eight games between the teams.

After the game on Friday, the Raptors will have a seven-game homestand.

The Raptors, who trailed the Grizzlies by 14 points in the first half on Wednesday, took over the game with a 35-21 fourth-quarter advantage.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 17 of his 26 points in the final quarter.

The Raptors trailed at halftime 71-59.

“We’re a young team,” said Fred VanVleet, who finished with 23 points. “Sometimes it’s hard to stress the urgency and what it takes to win in this league every night. You can’t go out there and go through the motions or you’re going to have a team put 71 on you in the first half and then you’ll be fighting uphill. Luckily, we were able to turn it around, but it’s not really the way we want to live going forward.”

The Raptors were sparked by Precious Achiuwa, who scored all of his 17 points in the third quarter and had a career-best three 3-pointers.

“He just got on a tear like we haven’t really seen,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “He just kept taking advantage of that, and that was pretty impressive.”

“There are flashes,” VanVleet said. “We’ve seen it. We all support him in that. I think a lot of the game, especially in the NBA, is mental. I know it’s nice to see a couple shots go through the rim because he’s definitely had his struggles at times. We know how good he can be.”

OG Anunoby (hip pointer) missed his fourth straight game for Toronto. Khem Birch (knee) also did not play on Wednesday.

Yuta Watanabe (calf strain) played his first game of the season for Toronto and had three points and three rebounds in nearly 14 minutes.

In their loss, the Pacers could not overcome the 39 points scored by LeBron James, eight in overtime.

Indiana’s Chris Duarte made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 112 with 6.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime. He finished with 17 points and was 3-for-10 on 3-point attempts.

“He’s unafraid,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “He has rise-up ability and skill, and he shoots with a lot of range.”

The Pacers scored only four points in overtime.

“They upped their defense, their intensity, their ball pressure,” said Malcolm Brogdon who led Indiana with 28 points. “I thought we played a little too slow. I think we’re best when we play fast. … They were able to get set and get stops.”

Pacers forward T.J. Warren (stress fracture in left foot), who has yet to play this season, had limited participation in the shootaround Wednesday. “We’ll see, I guess, on Tuesday where he’s at and then we may have a timetable,” Carlisle said.

–Field Level Media

Source: Yahoo Sports


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