Pacers turn up defense, coast past Raptors
(The Sports Xchange) - With his team trailing Toronto 26-5 midway through the first quarter Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana Pacers' coach Frank Vogel called a much-needed timeout during which he did not mince words.
"I'm not sure I can actually repeat what I said, but essentially, it was about getting our defense right, something we have talked about for the past five games," Vogel said.
Indiana countered with a 39-4 run on its way to a roller-coaster 106-90 victory over the Raptors.
Indiana's huge run that spanned the end of the first quarter and start of the second quarter gave the Pacers a 44-30 lead, and they never trailed again, beating the Raptors for the first time in the past six meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals.
"Obviously, I wasn't happy about our start, but most the shots (the Raptors) were making were over the top (9 of 11), and the key to beating them usually is keeping them out of the lane," Vogel said.
After the hot start, Toronto made only 20 of its final 68 field goal attempts.
Forward Jordan Hill led the Pacers (14-9) with 20 points and 13 rebounds, each a season high. Guard Monta Ellis scored 18, guard/forward C.J. Miles added 17, forward Paul George scored 16, and guard Rodney Stuckey had 10.
Guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each had 20 for Toronto (16-10).
"We started getting up into them and not letting them get comfortable," said Miles, who was 5 of 5 from 3-point range. Continued...