Sometimes the NBA seems surreal. In their previous game, the Raps lost despite scoring 133 points. In this mud-wrestle of a match against the poor-shooting Pacers, the Raps came away with a win on 74. The Raps won despite scoring 5 points in Q4; one lonely basket by Kleiza & free throws. That’s twice in their last 3 games that the Raps have scored in single digits in a Q, something you wouldn’t expect twice in a season. Can someone please figure out what’s wrong with Kyle Lowry’s ankle – we’re dying here.
The Raps started slowly, with turnovers on their first 3 possessions. The Pacers, by contrast, were draining all their shots & led by 9 early on, when Coach Casey called timeout. Whatever he said stuck, & the Raps turned it around, let by Jose Calderon, who scored or assisted on nearly every bucket on his way to a triple-double (13 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds).
In Q2, the Pacers pushed the ball inside, but the Raps gave little ground, & the ball wouldn’t fall for the home team. We saw 8 minutes of Terrence Ross, who scored on all 3 of his shots, including a rainbow from distance. The Raps weren’t pulling away, largely because Andrea Bargnani’s outside shooting miseries continued. He ended 3/13 for 8, though his defensive effort was credible. The Raps had a 10 point bulge at the half.
Q3 was the closest thing to decent ball we would see, as the teams traded buckets, & the intensity picked up. The refs seemed to say “Let ‘em play”, which was fine with the Pacers’ Designated Hitter, Tyler Hansbrough. He should have fouled out, but was only called for 3. The Raps led by 11 going into Q4, & they needed them all. The Pacers didn’t exactly roar back, as the Raps were doing some bitin’ & scratchin’ of their own. Every rebound, & there were many, was contested. The Raps offense was completely out of order. There were shot clock violations, & crazy off-balance jumpers for the sake of a shot. Nothing was going in, including an unsightly 3-ball tried by Amir Johnson. The Raps shot 36% for the game – but the Pacers were worse, at 32%. Cover your eyes, kids, this is ugly.
The Pacers had multiple attempts to tie the game, but couldn’t hit. The Raps did everything they could to give away this victory, but the other guys wouldn’t take it.
The team gets some precious time off, before hitting Boston’s famous parquet floor on Saturday.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.