Rapid Recap: Raptors Win 4th Straight, Beat Pacers 95-82

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Raptors share the ball and play team basketball to overcome Paul George and the Indiana Pacers.

The Toronto Raptors fought tough on New Year's Day in a home game versus the Indiana Pacers, besting them 95-82. It was another great night sharing the ball as the Raptors amassed 27 assists and moving to 9-3 since the Rudy Gay trade. The Raptors really fought hard and earned this win against the scrappy Pacers, handing them their 6th loss of the season. They were down by 4 at half but came out with a different mindset, matching the Pacers scrappiness and pulling out the win. Masai Ujiri has tinkered the team on-the-go and looks to have a rebuild plan similar to the Phoenix Suns.

RAPTORS NOTES

  • Terrence Ross played his best game of the season, effectively playing great defense on Paul George forcing to a 5-14 night and 6 turnovers. He's showing he can play in this league and is easily the great benefactor to the Rudy Gay trade. He had 18 points and 3 steals in 38 minutes tonight.
  • Kyle Lowry is a bulldog, but we knew that already. He's making a case in his contract year, only 28 years old and entering his prime. 13 points on 9 attempts while adding in a season-high 14 assists. He's been moving the ball within the team and playing very unselfishly lately. His defense was stellar tonight with 2 steals, a block, and picking up a charge for Roy Hibbert's 6th foul. It's hard to deny he's a little guy with lots of heart and grit.
  • The Raptors converted 20-23 from the line tonight, one of the major factors in winning a ball game is converting from the line. They're called free for a reason right?

PACERS NOTES

  • Roy Hibbert led the Indiana Pacers with 16 points tonight in limited 21 minutes due to foul trouble. He was visibly frustrated at the team's play; but will look forward to the next one for a big bounce back.
  • The Pacers are a great template to model after for the current Raptors team due to their main core lacking a top-5 pick. Their management has done a great job of finding players to fit the system, without any high lottery picks. Paul George is their undisputed leader, drafted 10th overall in 2010 ahead of fan-favourite Ed Davis. The rotation is complemented by 2 great 2nd round picks in Luis Scola and Lance Stephenson.
  • With 1:16 left in the game and the Raptors up by double-digits, Frank Vogel pulled all 5 of his players on the court to heavy cheer from the Raptors faithful; effectively waving the white flag for the game. Tonight's atmosphere was very playoff-like, something the Pacers could possibly see in the 2nd round in the eye of optimistic Raptor fans.
The Toronto Raptors have won 4 straight after tonight and are rolling to a 9-3 record after trading Rudy Gay. The Pacers were visibly frustrated and will remember this game as most elite teams do, however they will not have to wait long as the Raptors play in Indiana on Tuesday. The Raptors head to Washington after tonight's game to face-off against John Wall and the Wizards.
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