Raptors Drop Road Game to Pacers, 114-122

(© imago images) NBA, Basketball Herren, USA Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers Jan 2, 2023 Indianapolis, Indiana, USA Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield 24 shoots the ball while Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam 43 defends in the first quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Indianapolis Gainbridge Fieldhouse Indiana USA, Copyright: xTrevorxRuszkowskix

The Toronto Raptors took a road loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, dropping their NBA regular season record to 16-21. The team now sits in 12th position in the Eastern Conference, 3 games behind a playoff spot. This was Toronto’s ninth loss in their past twelve games.

The big story of Monday night’s game was the lack of production from the Raptors bench. They were outscored 7 to 54 by the Pacers, taking only seven shots and making only three.

The starting group had a solid night, with Pascal Siakam putting up 26 points, 7 boards and 7 dimes and Gary Trent Jr. leading the team in scoring with 32. Scotty Barnes also had an above average game, on his way to 23 points, eight assists and 8 rebounds.

Fred VanVleet returned to the starting lineup after injury but was only able to put up 9 points in 3-15 shooting.

Overall the Raptors shot 45.1% from the field and 33.3% from deep compared to the 48.4% and 37% respectively from the Pacers. The Pacers also outrebounded the Raptors 50 to 36, which made a big difference down the stretch.

The game was kept close going into the fourth quarter with just a one point lead for the Pacers. It wasn’t until Buddy Hield hit two three-pointers in the final two minutes that the Pacers were able to firmly gain control of the matchup. 

Overall, if you’re a Raptors fan there was much to cheer about in the play of the starting five but if the team can’t squeeze any more production from the bench, they won’t have much of a chance making the playoffs going forward.

Up Next for the Raptors

The Raptors will be beginning a 6-game home stand which could very well decipher their fate this season. Already 3 games back from a playoff spot, the team is desperately in need of a good string of games which could put them back into contention.

Up first will be a tough game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. The Bucks are coming off a 118-95 loss against the Washington Wizards and will be hungry to get back on track.

The team will then go on to play the New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers and the Charlotte Hornets twice over the next week or so.

If you’re thinking about betting on the Raptors in the new year, don’t forget to check out our list of the best NBA betting sites in Ontario.

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