Pacers beat Raptors to keep season alive
The Indiana Pacers overpowered the Toronto Raptors in the second half of the game to stay alive and level their first round playoff series 3-3 with a 101-83 victory late Friday.
Paul George had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who forced a decisive game seven in the NBA Eastern Conference series on Sunday in Toronto.
The Miami Heat also bought themselves more postseason time with a 97-90 victory over the Charlotte Hornets to level their East series at 3-3.
After leading 65-64 late in the third quarter, Indiana used a 32-5 surge to increase its lead to 97-69 with three minutes left in the fourth quarter in front of a crowd of 18,100 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena in Indianapolis.
The Pacers scored the fourth quarter’s first six points and led 77-64 with 10:38 remaining as the Raptors called a timeout. The run became 12-0 for an 83-64 advantage as Indiana shot 64 percent from the field in the second half.
Rookie Myles Turner had 15 points and nine rebounds for Indiana, Monta Ellis scored 14 and George Hill and Ian Mahinmi each scored 12.
Cory Joseph had 15 for Toronto, DeMarre Carroll also scored 15, Jonas Valanciunas tallied 14 points and nine rebounds and Kyle Lowry scored 10.
Indiana opened the third quarter with a 15-6 run and scored the third quarter’s final six points to lead 71-64 heading into the fourth.
The Pacers outscored the Raptors 31-20 in the third quarter and outrebounded Toronto 12-5 in the period.
The Raptors limited George to one first-half field goal as they led 44-40 at halftime.
Toronto outrebounded Indiana 28-21 during the opening half and enjoyed a 14-6 advantage in second-chance.
Dwyane Wade scored 23 points and hit two clutch shots in the final minute for the Heat who led by as many as 13 in the first half and 12 in the second, thanks to 60 percent shooting from the field in the first half.
Game seven is scheduled for Sunday in Miami.
The Heat also got 21 points from Luol Deng, 14 from Goran Dragic, 12 from Hassan Whiteside and 11 from Joe Johnson, who capped the scoring with two free throws with five seconds remaining.