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The numbers behind the Raptors' first home victory

The long wait is over; Scotiabank Arena's 20-month curse has finally been broken. For the first time since February 2020, Toronto Raptors won a game at home; a 118-100 win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

Coincidentally, The Raptors' last victory (127-81) in Toronto was against this same opponent. Since-departed Raptors stars Serge Ibaka (15 rebounds) and Kyle Lowry (11 assists) were among Toronto's statistical leaders in that game, the most lopsided win in team history via www.casinoinquirer.com.

Nick Nurse's side lost their first three home games this season. In the three campaigns prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Toronto went 89-25 at home. Travel restrictions related to the pandemic forced the Raptors to play home games in Florida at the end of the 2019-20 season and throughout 2020-21. They went 16-20 at their temporary home in Tampa last season.

The Pacers went into the game ranked second to the Warriors (33.5) in first-quarter points (33.0). But on the night, their hosts showcased an effective blend of pace, performance and physicality.

The Raptors were inspired by 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists from Fred VanVleet in his most complete outing of the season while OG Anunoby showed signs of shaking off his early-season struggles as he finished with 25 points and snatched five steals. VanVleet shot 6 for 7 from 3-point range and had six assists.

In 2020-21, Anunoby scored a season-high 30 points against Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, grabbing eight rebounds and nabbing five steals to boot. This time, however, he hammered them again, dropping 16 points in the first quarter alone. Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes continued to impress, running his streak of double-digit scoring games to start his career to five with 18 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to go with two blocks. He delivered a running one-handed slam dunk early in the fourth quarter to the delight of the sellout crowd of 19,800 to give Toronto a 98-78 lead.

There were contributions from elsewhere. The Raptors bench chipped in 27 points on 55 per cent shooting, led by 10 from Dalano Banton. The rookie played a career-high 16 minutes, eclipsing Goran Dragic (who did not play at all) in the rotation, reaching double figures for points on a 67.2 true shooting percentage and finishing the game +11, highest amongst all bench players.

"He’s really played well," Nurse said via meilleures jeux blackjack en ligne. "He injects an easy or basket or two into the game pretty quickly. Those moments are hard to come by. … He’s learning and he’s got the ability to do a variety of things defensively."

Banton has shown a knack for pushing the ball and getting some early. Easy offence and his length perfectly complements what Toronto is hoping to get done on defence, and Nurse has said his mistake early this season was not playing him more and sooner.

Raptors forced the Pacers into 23 turnovers, which they converted into 31 points. They also hustled their way to 16 offensive rebounds (Indiana had nine) as they finished the game with 21 more field-goal attempts (100) than the Pacers (79). The Raptors started the fourth quarter with a 16-point lead and never allowed Indiana to get closer than 10.

Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana (1-4) with 18 points and Chris Duarte had 14 points. But Brogdon was forced out injured after 22 minutes early in the third quarter. Domantas Sabonis, who was averaging 24.8 points per game entering play, had a team-high eight rebounds for the Pacers but was held to just nine points.