Raptors pummelled by Pacers
The Toronto Raptors weren't merely beaten Wednesday night; they were embarrassed. Danny Granger led all scorers with 29 points as the Indiana Pacers established season highs for points and margin of victory in a 130-101 rout of the Raptors in front of 13,647 fans at the Conseco Fieldhouse.
The final outcome flattered the Raptors somewhat because they outscored the Pacers 27-15 in the fourth quarter, by which time the game was well out of reach.
Indiana led by 41 points heading into the fourth.
"It is great to blow a team out," Granger said. "I think a bunch of us didn't even play in the fourth quarter."
It marked sixth win in eight games for the Pacers (34-44), who shot a scorching 72 per cent in the second quarter to lead 74-48 at the break.
But they didn't stop there, opening the second half with five consecutive field goals and firing at a 68 per cent clip in the third.
"I think our offensive efficiency was key," Granger said. "We had it going from the beginning.
Jarrett Jack contributed 23 points and Roy Hibbert had 17 points, while Troy Murphy poured in 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.
"It was one of those feel-good games where everybody was able to contribute and get some minutes out there," Jack said. "We have not had too many of those this season."
T.J. Ford, traded to Indiana by Toronto last June 26, had 14 points and 11 assists in 21 minutes off the bench.
Josh McRoberts finished with career highs of 12 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double as a pro.
"It was good to get the opportunity to get out there and play, and be involved in a win," he said. "Obviously, you cannot do that from where I sit at the end of the bench and, when the opportunity presents itself, I want to get out there and do the best I can and help out."
'We have a proud bunch of guys'
The Pacers remain in contention for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls by four games with four games to go.
"I think we have a proud bunch of guys," Jack said. "Regardless of what the situation is, whether we're in contention or not in contention, we have got guys who, each time they step on the floor, they want to represent the organization really well."
Chris Bosh had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors (30-48), who suffered their third straight loss following a six-game winning streak.
With Andrea Bargnani nursing a sore left heel, Patrick O'Bryant started at centre and provided 16 points and seven rebounds before fouling out.
Joey Graham scored 14 points and Anthony Parker had 11.
"The best part about it is that it is over," Bosh said. "Doesn't matter which five we have got out there, they have got to play."
"They made shots early and often and we didn't provide much resistance the first three quarters," Raptors interim head coach Jay Triano noted. "We need to be competitive and try to win games."
With files from the Canadian Press