The Indiana Pacers fell to 19-19 on the road this season after losing to the Toronto Raptors. The Pacers rallied in the second half to keep the game close, but ultimately fell 102-94.
The Raptors closed out the game on a 10-0 run as the Pacers missed seven straight field goals. Toronto was aided by six offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter alone.
The Pacers effort on the glass left a lot to be desired. 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert finished the game with just two rebounds.
Hibbert had thrown some of his teammates under the bus recently, but finished with just 12 points and disappoint production on the glass. He should be a dominant force in the post, but has been maddeningly inconsistent basically all season long.
Paul George appeared to be strapping the team on his back in the second half to carry the Pacers to victory. He had 20 of his 26 points in the second.
David West was the only other starter to give the extra effort tonight. West had 21 points of 56-percent shooting and seven rebounds. He also had a pair of steals.
After a slow start in the second quarter, the bench was actually effective. The reserves scored 21 points, but took 22 shots to get there. Donald Sloan had his best game since CJ Watson went down with a hamstring injury, scoring nine points and dishing out three assists.
The Pacers have shown improvement over the past two games, but it hasn’t been enough. Every time Indiana appeared to be ready to take a lead, the Raptors would hit a three or a lucky shot to keep the game close.
Toronto shot 47-percent from the field and hit 10 three pointers. They also managed to out-rebound the Pacers 42-39. The Raptors also managed to take six more field goals than the Pacers.
This was a step in the right direction for the Pacers. Its a tough loss on the road but the Pacers are looking more like the team that dominated November.
Indiana lost its sixth consecutive road game but comes home to face a lackluster Atlanta team on Sunday.