Pacers Blow Halftime Lead, Lose to Raptors 106-99


A new team and a new scheme brought a fast-paced, offense filled first half for the Indiana Pacers, but they failed to keep up the pace in the second half, falling to the Toronto Raptors 106-99.

Nobody quite knew what to expect out of this Indiana Pacers team once the regular season began and after one game, it’s still unclear. After giving up only 37 points in the first half to the Toronto Raptors, the Pacers seemed to run out of gas and gave up 69 points in the second half.

President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird and head coach Frank Vogel said they wanted this team to be more uptempo this year, and they certainly were against the Raptors. Indiana finished with 20 fast break points – compared to Toronto’s nine – but their low shooting percentage ultimately doomed them.

George Hill led the way with 19 points, two assists and three rebounds. C.J. Miles finished with 18 points, Paul George had 17, Rodney Stuckey had 16 off the bench, and Ian Mahinmi had 10. The one guy missing from that list is Monta Ellis, who was supposed to be the lighting to George’s thunder. Ellis finished with nine points on 3-of-11 shooting.

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Shooting, or lack there of it, was the biggest factor in the Pacers fading at the end of the game. Some of that could be due to the uptempo style and the players still getting used to it, but the team shot 32-of-86 (37.2 percent), including 9-of-23 from three point range.

The Pacers defense played really well the entire night. Yeah, they gave up 69 points in the second half, but they forced 20 turnovers. Toronto finished the night shooting 45 percent from the field, which is not what most Pacers fans are used to seeing, but the old guard is gone and so is the stout defense.

We knew going into this season that the Pacers were going to have to outscore their opponents this year, and wouldn’t be able to rely on their defense to win games. So far that’s looking very true. Thankfully you can count on George not going 4-of-17 most nights and once rookie Myles Turner returns from his sprained ankle, the offense and defense should get a solid boost.

Game Notes:

  • Former Pacer Luis Scola played 17 minutes and didn’t attempt a field goal.
  • Pacers won the turnover game 13-to-20. That’s a rarity for this team.
  • No Pacer scored over 20 points. Three Raptors did.
  • Pacers connected on nine three pointers; four by Miles and five by George Hill.
  • Paul George nearly had a triple-double; 17 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds.

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