Pacers Get Revenge Against Raptors, Win 129-114

Grant Afseth

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Coming off a loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, the Indiana Pacers managed to split the rare back-to-back series with a 129-114 victory.  

From the opening tip-off, the Pacers came out with a clear emphasis to get quicker into their half-court offense. In Sunday's matchup, Indiana encountered issues executing late in the shot clock against the Raptors' various zone defenses.

”I was on the phone with coach (Nate Bjorkgren) late last night, trying to figure out how to make adjustments. I was really angry after last night's game,” Brogdon said. “I was incredibly locked in today. We both love the game, we both think about the game all the time and we both hate losing. It drove me crazy until we were able to get back on the court tonight."

The Pacers' adjustments helped them to jump out to a 13-7 lead by the 7:17 mark of the opening period. Toronto managed to close the gap for the remainder of the period as Indiana held just a 33-30 advantage after the first quarter.

A pivotal element to the Pacers' early success was the scoring impact Domantas Sabonis provided. He contributed 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists in just under 11 minutes of action before going down with an injury.

With Sabonis ruled out for the remainder of this contest, the Pacers relied on its active key players to step up. Initially, Jeremy Lamb answered the call as the leader of the bench -- providing 10 points in the second period. 

"I just know when someone goes down, someone else has to step up, especially with the production that Domas gives us," Turner said. "I just put my head down and was being aggressive, as aggressive as possible, and got to the free throw line a lot." 

After initially having their bench unit on the floor to begin the second quarter, the Pacers gained some separation after their starters were subbed in. Brogdon and Turner took charge to lead Indiana to a 70-60 halftime lead. 

The Raptors mixed up their defensive strategies in the third quarter and went with various zone schemes. Toronto took advantage and cut the Pacers' lead to just one-point at the 7:52 mark. Lamb continued to keep Indiana's afloat with 12 points within the frame. 

Toronto opened the fourth quarter with some momentum and actually took a 102-100 lead at the 9:46 mark. The Raptors took advantage of the Pacers' bench being on the floor to begin the final frame but faltered when Brogdon and Turner checked into the game. 

Brogdon (12 points) and Turner (11 points) managed to break the Raptors' defensive strategies in the fourth quarter and ultimately secured the win for the Pacers. Indiana outscored Toronto by 15 points to close out regulation. 

Going 14-of-17 (82.4%) from the free throw line in the fourth quarter was pivotal to the Pacers' closing efforts. Turner attempted a career-most 16 free throws and made 11. Meanwhile, Brogdon went 13-of-14 (92.9%) in this area.  

“It was hard to play anything (defensively)," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “All we did was a parade to the free-throw line. You can’t play defense when every time they touch the ball it’s a foul."

The Pacers relied on Malcolm Brogdon scoring a career-high 36 points while adding seven rebounds and nine assists. Meanwhile, Jeremy Lamb provided 22 points of his own to help elevate Indiana's perimeter attack. 

With Sabonis playing only 11 minutes, Turner often slotted in as the lone big on the court and he provided a needed 21 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.

The Pacers will return to action on Wednesday when they begin the start of a back-to-back series with the Charlotte Hornets. 

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