This was a game fitting of the date on the calender. It was if you have not checked a calender today Friday the 13th. Lots of odd things would occur at the ACC on this night as the Raptors limped in to face the Pacers without Andrea Bargnani. This game was not going to be pretty. How on earth would the Raptors make up for the 22 points that Andrea Bargnani both averages and scored that exact number vs Pacers in the home opener. Demar DeRozan was heading into this one having perhaps the worst stretch of games in his young career. Everything pointed to a Pacers blowout win. But that is not what happened at all.
The Raptor came out like a house on fire. DeRozan was scoring and getting to the line at will. The Raptors at one point had built up a 16 point lead in the first half. It was pretty stunning to say the least. Raptors had come out and dominated the first 27-15 but after peaking at that 16 point lead in the 2nd the Pacers would quickly cut that lead to 8. As part of the Pacers comeback Danny Granger would block Ed Davis who started for Bargnani on the night. Granger would decide to taunt him and get a tech. Which although stupid was not a big deal except he already had a tech early in the game for arguing a call. So Mr. Granger would be sent to the his Bat Cave away from home in the visitors locker room. The Pacers would push on and get the lead down to 5 at the half with the score 45-40.
The Pacers came out of the locker room minus Granger and quickly got the game to within 2 points. The Raptors showed they had some moxie and rebuild there lead to 10. But the Pacers kept coming and the Raptors were struggling to hang on. The battle would be tight all through the 4th quarter and then some terrible mistakes in the final moments would seal the Raptors all to familiar fate. The first mistake came on the second of two Pacer free throws with the game tied at 90. Pacers would make the first but miss the second. But they would end up getting the rebound and be fouled and go back to the line. It would be the 6th for Amir Johnson ending his night with just 9 points and 5 rebounds. So that gave the Pacers a 93-90 lead. Raptors need a 3 now to get this game to overtime. Jamaal Magloire was not going to be the guy to make that three pointer but he was on the floor. In defence of Casey it was likely to rebound a missed three and give the Raptors a second chance to make it. But what happened was inexpiable. The ball would be inbounded to Magloire and he was fouled be it intentionally or by accident, regardless it was a wise move by the Pacers. Hack-A-Canadian is how I referred to it on Twitter. Aside from the obvious that the Raptors could not make a three, Magloire is also terrible at the line. In his career just 64.2 % from the line but has not shot above 60% since 2003-04 season which is the point his career started to nose dive. He would miss both badly at the line. Pacers would follow it up 2 points and seal it up for a 95-90 win. The second win for them in Toronto in the last 30 days.
DeRozan after the hot start would end up with the same 23 points he scored to lead the Raptors in the previous loss to the Pacers. Barbosa continued to be effective off the bench with 20. Calderon also had a decent stat line. In the end the key stat is this game was at the line. Pacers went 32-38 from the charity stripe and the Raptors just 20-32. It was a solid performance from the Raptors on the night. They really deserved to win this game. But in the end they have no one to blame but themselves for why they didn't. Things get no easier as they head to Chicago to take on the Bulls who are currently about to get a win over the Celtics. Bulls will have the best record in the NBA at 11-2 and are a perfect 4-0 at the United Center.
Note: Minor Error on my Part.....DeRozan had 22 in the opener vs the Pacers in opener and Bargnani 21. Sorry about that.