Raptors beat Pacers, fans taste victory at home again

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The longest stretch between regular-season wins in Toronto by the Raptors got here to an finish on Wednesday in a satisfying 118-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers.


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Coincidentally, the Pacers had been the earlier crew to style defeat on the Scotiabank Enviornment hardcourt in an everyday season sport, some 612 days in the past, when a then-healthy Pascal Siakam led them to a 127-81 win over an Indiana crew not that a lot completely different than the present one.

This time, it was a heavy dose of OG Anunoby early on, loads of Fred VanVleet by the second half, and simply sufficient of Scotty Barnes and Dalano Banton sprinkled in to nail down that first win at dwelling this season on their fourth strive.

Anunoby acquired it going with 16 factors within the first quarter earlier than ending with 25, whereas VanVleet confirmed us a bit of one thing new with a 26-point, 10-rebound evening. VanVleet has had quite a few 20 and 10 nights earlier than, however they had been the entire factors and assists selection. This was his first 20-10 factors/rebounds evening.


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However this sport was removed from simply the mixture of VanVleet and Anunoby and even VanVleet, Anunoby, Barnes and Banton.

It was an evening when all these spacing points that had plagued the Raptors’ offence for the early a part of this season, and slowed down the crew within the half court docket particularly, acquired addressed and largely cleaned up.

There was extra room for VanVleet on his drives and extra room for Barnes when he pulled off what’s changing into a signature spin-and-go from the highest of the important thing, often ending in a dunk.

“I assumed we had been fairly good,” VanVleet mentioned of the spacing. “Treasured (Achiuwa) and Scottie (Barnes) had been studying one another on the 4/5. We’ll proceed to develop and get higher.”

Defensively, the Raptors had been on level as properly, getting again into creating offence off turnovers.


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The Pacers conceded 22 turnovers for 29 factors on this one.

Seven turnovers within the third quarter helped the Raptors achieve some actual separation as head coach Nick Nurse went to his Canadian wave lineup that features Khem Birch, Chris Boucher and Banton — Canada’s personal model of the Killer B’s — and was rewarded with a bunch of these turning defence into offence buckets.

Banton performed a season-high 16 minutes, pushing the tempo and getting the Raptors into assault mode.

He scored a career-high 10 factors, together with a two-of-three evening from behind the arc.

He’s changing into one among Nurse’s favourites.

“He’s actually performed properly and the largest factor is he injects some straightforward baskets into the sport fairly rapidly,” Nurse mentioned. “He’s actually stable defensively too. He’s versatile. Similar to all of the younger guys he’ll make a mistake right here or there … however he’s studying and he’s acquired some means to do a wide range of issues defenisvely.”


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Nurse additionally singled out Gary Trent Jr for his defensive work in opposition to Indiana, and all through the season.

“He’s one other man that in all probability hasn’t been talked about and has performed actually good defence,” Nurse mentioned. “He’s simply all up on folks and over folks and I’m actually happy with that as a result of I’m positive that’s what we needed however I wasn’t positive that we had been going to see that. He has been actually aggressive and good with that this yr. It’s an enormous enhance to our defensive lineup.”

Collectively, the Raptors did an ideal job swarming Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, the Pacers’ two bigs. Sabonis acquired going early with six factors within the first 4 minutes, however noticed a number of purple shirts the remainder of the evening each time he ventured into the paint, settling for a nine-point evening. Turner, in the meantime, scored simply 10.


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In his brief time right here as a Raptor, Mississauga native Oshea Brissett made an impression each along with his teammates and Nurse, however has been caught in a numbers sport. The Raptors had been pressured to reveal him to waivers to open up a spot on the roster, and the Pacers snapped him up.

Brissett performed 21 video games with Indy final seson, 16 of these begins and averaged 10.9 factors and 5.5 rebounds an evening.

The opposite kind-of-Canadian on the Pacers’ roster, Chris Duarte, who was the Pacers’ first-round decide, fifteenth general, on this previous draft, is beginning for Indiana as a rookie with accidents to Caris LeVert and T.J. Warren. Duarte was born within the Dominican Republic, however spent a bit of his childhood in Montreal when he was rising up.


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“After we misplaced (Doug) McDermott to free company, we needed to draft a participant to exchange among the issues that he did,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle mentioned. “Despite the fact that Chris performs a special place and is a special model of participant and never the identical physique sort and stuff like that, his means to attain, his means to play off motion, make performs, coated a few of these wants for us.

“He’s finished what we had hoped he may do, and that was to be a mature younger participant that would step in and play significant minutes immediately,” Carlisle mentioned.


There was a number of speak from the Raptors nowadays concerning the stage of physicality being allowed within the sport, in contrast to earlier seasons.

VanVleet talked about it Tuesday after follow, and Nurse was beating that narrative once more Wednesday.


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“You guys a yr in the past would have been asking do you suppose these 131-130 video games are gonna sustain?” Nurse mentioned previous to final evening’s sport “ And now each evening you look down there scoreboard it’s 93-87 each sport that’s on the market darn close to. I do know you guys discover the distinction. I do know I’ve mentioned it a bunch. You guys are good and have watched the video games. It’s drastically completely different.”

Nurse has seen this within the Raptors’ personal video games and all through the league.

“There’s a lot of bumping with the ball-handlers,” he unhappy. “There are many hits on the rim. But it surely’s being referred to as all video games, league-wide, each methods. You guys see it.”

The Pacers haven’t skilled the identical enhance in physicality and decrease scores having been concerned in two excessive scoring video games and one other OT sport, however Carlisle has seen a shift as properly in the direction of a much less dominant whistle within the sport.


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That mentioned, he’s not on the level the place he’s satisfied it is going to keep that means.

“As a crew enjoying within the NBA, significantly on the highway, you must be prepared for every little thing,” Carlisle mentioned pre-game.

Each coaches although, and actually all coaches within the league, are conscious the primary crew to regulate to the way in which the sport is being referred to as ought to have a bonus.

Nurse’s cost to his crew could be very easy on this regard.

“Man up,” Nurse mentioned. “Man up and let’s go. We all know what’s happening out right here. Let’s alter and let’s play. That’s what we’re telling them.

“We’ve acquired to play by hits. You’ve acquired to make layups whenever you’re getting hit. You’ve acquired to play by some pinball motion within the lane with out coughing it up. And you then’ve acquired to be sure you’re getting in your physicality on the opposite finish.”



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