The Indiana Pacers defeated the Toronto Raptors 101-83 Friday night to force a decisive game seven. The Pacers will look to upset the 2nd-seeded Raptors as they travel to Toronto.
The Pacers had their backs against the wall as they headed back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for game six on Friday night. Three days prior, the Pacers were playing game four in Toronto and lead by as much as 17 points before being outscored 25-to-9 in the fourth quarter and ultimately losing by three points.
Things weren’t looking good for the Pacers at the start of game six Friday night, as the Raptors lead 14-4 early in the first quarter. Things remained at a steady pace up until the Pacers outscored the Raptors 61-39 in the second-half, helping to secure the victory for the team.
“I believe we can play with this team… We are hitting our stride at the right time and playing our best basketball,” Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said after the team’s win Friday night.
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And indeed the Pacers did play some of their best overall basketball of the season in the game six victory. Five players scored in double figures for Indiana, highlighted by Paul George‘s 21 points and 11 rebounds.
The Pacers now have the opportunity to surprise the rest of the league with a first-round upset over the Raptors, a team that finished the regular season as the Eastern Conference’s 2nd-seed with 56 total wins.
Game seven may be in Toronto, but the Pacers have shown that they have what it takes to snatch up a victory as the away team thus far this series. They took game one two weeks ago and were on the verge of winning game five before a fourth quarter collapse due to Vogel’s choice of keeping a struggling Rodney Stuckey in the game.
The Raptors came into game six saying that they would treat it as if it was in fact a game seven, but apparently Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan didn’t quite get the memo. The Raptor’s duo shot a combined 7-for-27 from the field for 18 points Friday night.
The Raptors will be fighting for their lives come Sunday when they defend their home court for a ‘win or go home’ game seven. If the Pacers wish to upset the Raptors, they will have to continue to play the good team basketball that they preached at the conclusion of last night’s game.
Be sure to follow Ink On Indy as we continue our coverage of the first round playoffs for the Indiana Pacers.