The Indiana Pacers held off the Raptors at the Scotiabank Arena, beating Toronto 118-114. The loss was the second in a row and lowered the Raps NBA regular season record to 35-38. After going 4-6 in their last 10 games, Toronto sits in the 9th seed of the Eastern Conference, just holding on to a spot in the play-in tournament.
Pascal Siakam led the scoring for Toronto, dropping 31 points on 11-17 shooting from the field. Siakam also had 10 rebounds to go with 7 assists and a blocked shot. Fred VanVleet chipped in with 28 points and 11 dimes and Jakob Poeltl had 23 points in just 12 shots.
Once again the Raptors bench was a cause for concern, only managing to produce 21 points compared to the 40 of the Pacers. Overall the Raptors shot 43.8% from the field and a dismal 20.6% from three-point land. The Pacers on the other hand were able to go 55.8% from the floor and 52.4% from beyond the arc, which was the difference in the game.
The Raptors got off to a sluggish start, losing the first quarter 36-26. They were able to pull it back in the second and the third, narrowing the gap to just five points as they entered the 4th quarter 83-78. Toronto was then able to take the lead in the final frame, going up by as many as four points before falling short in the final few minutes.
The Raptors seem to be stuck in the 9th or 10th positions in the East, meaning they will need to win a road game in the play-in tournament just to have a shot at the playoffs. With less than 10 games left in the season it seems unlikely that Toronto will be able to make a run at the 6th seed to avoid the play-ins.
Who’s Next for the Raptors?
The Raptors will face up next against the Detroit Pistons at home on Friday night. The Pistons are in last place in the Eastern Conference with a league’s worst record of 16-57, losing four straight. Toronto will see this is an easy game to bolster their position as they protect their place in the play-ins.
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