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Raptors Make Second Half Push but Fall to Pacers, 103 to 98 (Rapid Recap)

-If there's a "best case loss" scenario, that was probably it wasn't it? The Toronto Raptors fought the Indiana Pacers to the very end, losing 103 to 98, but again showed just how far this club has come in terms of grit and determination. Fans who missed the Jays home opener to watch this one on TSN saw a club that again played as a unit, showcasing the ideals that coach Dwane Casey has been trying to instil, a valiant task considering Toronto's record with nine games to go.

-Minus Andrea Bargnani, not to mention a bevy of other options, the Raps got down big, but used a second half push to get within a basket of a very good Pacers team. Toronto outscored Indiana 36 to 26 in the game's final quarter but just couldn't dig themselves out of their first half hole, a hole that saw them struggle to score, posting only 37 points at the half.

-But the Dinos' offence woke up in the third quarter, led by the likes of Alan Anderson and Gary Forbes, and the Raps began to look alive. Unfortunately Indiana also turned up the juice on O, and the clubs traded baskets for a good portion of the third. Some zone D by Casey and co. flummoxed the Pacers momentarily though, and Toronto's bench began to carry the scoring load as the game entered its final session. That's when Linas Kleiza (game-high 18 points) and Amir Johnson (16 points, 7 rebounds) took over and suddenly this was a one possession game.

-Ironically it was a former Raptor that hurt TO as Leandro Barbosa had 7 of his 14 points down the stretch, ending Toronto's hopes of a comeback. George Hill and Paul George also hit big shots down the stretch and Indiana buckled, but didn't fold, and go to 35 and 22 on the season.

-Toronto drops to 20 and 38 but more importantly, keeps on the Anthony Davis trail. With a stumbling and bumbling Philly club up next, it was imperative to add another mark in the L column this evening, and not only did the Raps do that, but they also continued to show promise in terms of competitiveness, a welcome sight.