Raptors nail 5th-straight win
Chris Bosh scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Toronto Raptors to their fifth victory in a row, 117-102 over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
Andrea Bargnani added 17 for the Raptors, who had seven players score in double figures before a crowd of 16,715 at the Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors lost Hedo Turkoglu after the first minute when he was struck above the eye by Mike Dunleavy while driving for the basket. But the Raptors were boosted by the play of their reserves.
"We have a strong bench," Bosh said.
"I think that was one of the keys to our success this year, how our bench was going to play. So far we've played pretty well. We will need them to continue to play well. Just play hard, play with passion and play defence every night."
Jarrett Jack scored 16 points, Antoine Wright 15, Sonny Weems 13, and Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson 12 each.
Luther Head scored 15 for the Pacers, who had six players score in double-figures. Troy Murphy and Brandon Rush each scored 14, Dunleavy and Roy Hibbert scored 12 apiece and Earl Watson had 11.
The Pacers cut Toronto's lead to one point early in the second half, but consecutive three-pointers by Jack and Bargnani gave Toronto an 83-70 lead with 6:27 left in the third quarter.
The Pacers cut the lead to 97-94 in the fourth when Hibbert hit a nine-foot turnaround jumper with 8:59 left in the game and the Raptors called a timeout.
A three-pointer by Head with 7:59 left in the game tied the score 97-97, but a Bosh basket put the Raptors back into the lead and Weems made two free throws to make it 101-97.
After Dunleavy made a free throw, Bosh came back with a driving layup and then hit a 19-footer with 5:38 left to put Toronto ahead 105-98.
Jack hit a three-pointer with 5:00 to go to put Toronto up by 10, 108-98.
"Bosh was just too much for us," Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien said.
"We did not defend at a level that would allow us to beat these guys. Giving up 60 per cent is not going to get it done against these guys."
Unlike the previous four victories of their current run, the Raptors did not fall behind by double digits before coming back.
When the Raptors last played Indiana, Jan. 11, they blew a 23-point lead and lost the away game 105-101.
Toronto has scored 100 or more points in a franchise-best 13 successive games and is 9-4 over that stretch.
Wright and Bargnani each scored eight points to boost the Raptors to a 32-29 lead after the first quarter that included an 11-0 Toronto run.
Murphy led Indiana with eight first-quarter points.
The Raptors led 63-59 at the half, with Bargnani and Calderon contributing 10 points each. Indiana's Rush led all first-half scorers with 12 points.
In first-half shooting, Toronto hit 62.8 per cent from the floor and Indiana shot 54.3 per cent.