Game Rewind: Pacers 99, Raptors 102 (Game 5)
After leading by 13 points to open the fourth quarter — and by as much as 17 in the game — the Pacers fell victim to a 21-2 run to open the fourth quarter as Norman Powell tied it up at 92 on a slam that sent the crowd at the Air Canada Centre to a deafening roar. From there, the Raptors hit back-to-back unanswered threes to go up by six, going on to win the Game 5 102-99 and putting the Pacers behind 3-2 in the series, fighting for their postseason lives.
Despite the heroics of Paul George, who poured in 39 points and nearly broke the franchise postseason record of 41 points (hit twice by Reggie Miller), the Pacers couldn’t unmoor themselves from their poor start to the final quarter as the Raptors held Indiana just just nine points over the final 12 minutes.
After Cory Joseph’s 3-pointer that put the Raptors up 98-92 with 2:54 left, the Pacers looked to regroup. At that point in time, Indiana was being outscored 21-2 in the quarter until George hit a layup to cut to the deficit to four.
Indiana had a chance to rebound a loose ball with just under a minute remaining and trailing by four, but the Raptors got the offensive rebound and reset the shot clock, dimming the hopes of a Pacers comeback.
But just when things looked finished, Solomon Hill buried a corner three to bring the Pacers’ deficit to just one, as Indiana sent DeMar DeRozan to the line, who extended the Raptors’ lead back to three, but giving Indiana 13.9 seconds to tie things up.
After a loose ball was declared out of bounds on the Raptors, the Pacers had just 2.7 seconds left to tie the game and nearly did when Solomon Hill looked like he drilled a game-tying three. But the refs deemed it was too late, and the replay confirmed that the ball was still in Hill’s hand when the buzzer sounded, sending the Pacers to a tough-to-swallow loss in Toronto.
“All we said all game long when we had the lead is it’s a 48-minute game,” Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. “You can’t get caught up on what we led at what time or anything like that. We’re trying to beat a 56-win team in their building in a Game 5. It’s a 48-minute game, we played well, just fell short, remain confident and come back and get Game 6.”
In the first half, the Pacers used a 15-2 run in the first quarter to build a 17-point lead. In the second quarter, the Pacers weathered blitz from the Raptors’ bench unit, and used a late 10-2 Pacers run in the second to help stabilize a nine-point lead over the Raptors at halftime.
George was on fire from the start, finishing the half with a game-high 22 points and five assists; which was just one fewer than the Raptors had as a team through two quarters.
The Pacers’ only serious misstep in the opening half occurred when George was on the bench to start the second quarter. DeMar DeRozan, who had been struggling in the first four games of the series, scored three unanswered buckets to help spark a 12-1 Raptors run. In the second quarter, the Raptors outscored Indiana by six to get their deficit down to nine at halftime.
Outside of DeRozan, the Raptors didn’t have much in the way of offense. Conversely, the Pacers had plenty of help, with George Hill scoring 15 in the first half and Myles Turner adding 10.
In the third, George continued to roll, at one point scoring nine consecutive Pacers points to trade buckets with DeRozan, who erupted with 34 points in the game.
By the time the third quarter buzzer sounded, Paul George had hung 37 points and seven assists on the Raptors, as Indiana outscored Toronto 29-25 in the frame to carry a 13-point lead into the final quarter of action.
But from there, the Raptors went on their 21-2 run, sealing the game in favor of the home team, and sending Indiana back home facing elimination in Game 6 on Friday night.
“We didn’t make enough plays,” Pacers forward Paul George said. “That is what it came down to in the fourth quarter. We have to put this (game) away. Friday is a new day and we have to get a win.”
Inside the Numbers
Paul George had Indiana’s best +/- rating on the night, finishing +15.
The Pacers shot 11-for-17 from 3-point range in the first half, but shot 2-for-12 from beyond the arc in the second half.
Myles Turner had three more blocks tonight, giving him 15 for the series.
Stat of the Night
Paul George scored 39 points (tying his playoff career-high) on 11-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. He was a perfect 12-of-12 from the charity stripe.