RaptorsHQ Rapid Recap - Indiana Pacers 95 - Toronto Raptors 90


-No Andrea Bargnani, no problem? Not quite, but the Toronto Raptors fought the Indiana Pacers tooth and nail before free-throws did them in, in an eventual 95 to 90 loss. The loss was the Raptors' third straight, and second loss this season to the Pacers in a similar, close fashion.

-Toronto didn't have Andrea Bargnani tonight due to injury, but that didn't seem to be an issue to start the game. DeMar DeRozan came out firing, pouring in 14 of the Raptors' 27 first-quarter points. DeMar's burst, along with some aggressive play by his teammates, helped the Dinos to a 16 point lead at one point, as the Pacers could do nothing right. Indiana repeatedly turned the ball over, settled for poor shots, and fought with the referees at nearly every opportunity, eventually resulting in Danny Granger getting ejected.

-However Pacers' coach Frank Vogel settled his team down after that and had them attack the Raptors' undersized interior. This allowed the Pacers to creep back into the match, and by halftime the Raps were only up by five. The five point lead continued to dwindle in the third as DeMar DeRozan was nowhere to be found, and it took another lightning bolt outing from Leandro Barbosa to keep this one close.

-The Raptors did indeed keep it close though, and from the end of the third to about 20 seconds left in the game, the lead changed about 15 times. Finally, with the score knotted at 20, and the Pacers with the ball, Amir Johnson fouled David West giving him two free-throws. West hit one of two, but the Pacers grabbed the offensive rebound off his second shot, and Amir Johnson fouled Tyler Hansbrough, giving Indiana another shot at extending their lead.

-Hansbrough hit both, and then it was Jamaal Magloire time.

-Magloire had to sub in for Amir Johnson, who had fouled out on the previous play, and with the career 64 per cent free throw shooter on the court, the Pacers quickly took a page out of Mark Jackson's book, and sent the Big Cat to the line.

-And yep, he missed both.

-Better yet, he completely airballed the first one, and the second, well, it wasn't very close to dropping either.

-In the end, the game wasn't lost on Magloire's free-throws alone of course, but had he hit them, Toronto could have extended the match.

-Instead, this was another tough one for fans to stomach, and now the Dinos have to turn around and face the even tougher Chicago Bulls tomorrow night, in Chicago.

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