The big keys to the victory were:
- Defence: This was the first time the Raptors held an opponent under 100 points in the last 10 games.
- Rebounding: The Raptors outshone the league's second-best rebounding team on the boards, winning the battle 52-39 in total, including a 16-6 advantage on the offensive glass.
- Bench effort: Toronto's bench outscored Indiana's 64-45, with four of the five Raptors to score in double figures coming off the bench. Lou Williams was the game's leading scorer with 26 points and he tossed in four rebounds and three assists for good measure, while going 5 for 7 from long range. James Johnson chipped in 13, Patrick Patterson added 11 points and 8 rebounds, while Greivis Vasquez tallied 10 points. Even Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira made a two-minute appearance and grabbed a board.
As the Raptors prepare for a back-to-back set against the New York Knicks and Orlando Magic on Sunday and Monday, Dwane Casey had the liberty of not playing any starter more than 27 minutes tonight. The lone starter to hit that mark was Jonas Valanciunas, who made the most of his time by playing aggressively against an Indiana frontline that usually gives him trouble. The big guy posted his third double-double in as many games with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Landry Fields got his second straight start at shooting guard and even led the Raptors in scoring after one quarter with 6 points (yes, that Landry Fields). He finished with 8 points and looks to have that job for the time being.
On the other side of the court, Indiana's leading scorer was Solomon Hill with 16 points and David West had a solid line of 12 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Roy Hibbert was mostly ineffective and finished with a mere 6 points on two for seven shooting with only 2 rebounds in 27.5 minutes. This is a team that is clearly still not over the losses of Paul George to that gruesome leg injury and Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets this past offseason.
The Raptors head to New York to take on the Knicks on Sunday, a team that snapped a 10-game losing streak tonight by beating the Boston Celtics 101-95. One team will leave Sunday on a two-game winning streak. Let's hope it's the Raps, as they try to get as many wins as possible in this six-game stretch against sub-.500 teams that they started tonight against Indiana.
What are your thoughts on the game? How great was that Bebe rebound? Jump into the comment section below and discuss away!