NBA free-agency tracker:

Pacers 86, Raptors 79

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- Center Roy Hibbert scored 22 points and added three blocked shots and eight rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to an 86-79 victory over the Toronto Raptors in front of 16,147 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday.

Guards Lance Stephenson and Danny Granger added 13 point apiece. Stephenson reached a double-double with 10 rebounds.

But it was point guard George Hill's 11-point performance that proved to be the spark Indiana needed.

The Pacers (28-6) overcame a poor shooting performance during the first minutes of the opening quarter, hitting on just two of their first nine shots. The Raptors on the other hand made 3 of 5 to start the game and jump out to a 7-0 lead.

Then with Pacers star swingman Paul George sitting with two early fouls, Indiana went on an 18-4 run, to take control of the game after the first quarter.

Indiana's offense shot a blistering 57 percent during its dominating run -- 43.5 for the quarter. Conversely, Toronto was held to a dismal 20 percent, and 30 for the quarter.

Guard DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors (16-17) with 28 points and six assists.

Each teams scoring leader thrived during the third quarter. Hibbert scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting, while DeRozan converted on six of his nine field-goal attempts for 17 points. Both were successful on the five free throws each attempted.

Guard Kyle Lowry missed his third 3-point attempt with 27 second left in the first half, but Stephenson was whistled for the foul sending the 6-footer to the free-throw line. With the chance to pull Toronto within three, the 81.3 percent free-throw shooter missed all three attempts.

The Pacers then did what they have done all season -- excel in the third quarter. Entering the game, Indiana had outscored its opponents by 185 points in the third. While the scoring margin was just five points, the Pacers were able to reach a double-digit lead. The largest was 17 at 71-54 after Hibbert converted two free throws.

Toronto roared back in the fourth quarter with a 21-15 scoring advantage to pull within six, but that was as close as it could get.

NOTES: The Raptors did not arrive in Indianapolis until mid-afternoon Tuesday due to the winter storm that blanketed Indiana with snow. ... Toronto F Tyler Hansbrough, a former Pacer, was inactive Tuesday due to a sprained left ankle. ... On New Year's Day, the Raptors beat the Pacers 95-82, Indiana's lowest point total of the season. ... The Pacers began the night first in the NBA in opponent's scoring in the paint. They were allowing an average of 35 points, and they were 17-2 when holding the advantage on inside scoring. ... The Pacers shot a season-low 36.4 percent from the field in their Sunday win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. ... F Luis Scola came off the bench to lead Indiana in rebounding during three of the past six games before Tuesday.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments