Well that'll calm down the fan base.
The Toronto Raptors turned in as complete a performance as they come in their Game 3 win over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night, and now have the chance to take a stranglehold on the series on Saturday afternoon.
DeMar DeRozan finally broke out of his slump and scored 21 points, which tied him with bff Kyle Lowry for the highest mark on the team. The defence was also spectacular as the Raptors held the Pacers to 38 per cent shooting on the evening.
Now Toronto will look for an encore against a desperate opponent. Here are three things to watch for in Game 4 as the Raptors eye a 3-1 lead:
What minutes restriction? DeMarre Carroll logged a whopping 35 minutes of action on Thursday night, chipping in with 17 points and five boards. He took nine threes and connected on three of them, which is an encouraging sign for the team. He's not going to be afraid to let it fly when the opportunity presents itself, which will help with floor spacing for Jonas Valanciunas and the guards.
Defensively, he made a huge impact, limiting Paul George to a paltry 6-of-19 shooting. Carroll's emergence, coupled with Terrence Ross being active, meant rookie hero Norm Powell fell out of the rotation, save for a few minutes of garbage time. If JYD 2.0 is able to replicate his performance in Game 4, Toronto has a great chance of walking away with the victory.
Clearly the weakest link in the Raptors' starting five, Scola has failed to get anything going. In Game 3, he managed to hit his first three-pointer of the series but nothing else. In three outings he's contributed just seven total points. While having him out there against the Pacers' best players hasn't truly come back to bite the Raptors just yet, it very well could in the future. If Dwane Casey could reduce Scola's minutes to around 10 per game and get Patrick Patterson up to 30, Toronto could really take it to Indiana. Of course, after two consecutive strong team showings, we're just nitpicking here.
As mentioned off the top, DeRozan broke out of his scoring slump in Game 3, eclipsing the 20-point mark. He shot nine free-throws, which is an encouraging sign as we see the all-star getting back to his usual self. However, the efficiency is still a cause for concern. To get those 21 points, he needed 19 shots. A high shooting percentage has never been a trademark of the 26-year-old's game, but the Raptors will look for him to get back to around the 44 per cent he averaged this season moving forward.
Where to watch: Sportsnet at 3:00 p.m. ET