The injury-depleted Toronto Raptors will be coming off their biggest comeback victory in franchise history when they visit the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
The 110-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon came after the Raptors trailed by 30 points during the third quarter and allowed Toronto to extend its win streak to five games.
Kyle Lowry got to work, scoring 20 of his 32 points in a 47-point fourth quarter that ended the Mavericks’ seven-game road winning streak (counting a game played in Mexico City). Lowry also had 10 assists and eight rebounds.
“He was unbelievable, and he really didn’t have a good game going until that point,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse told reporters, referring to Lowry’s fourth quarter. “He started firing, making and driving and and-oneing; he was doing it all. I am not sure I have seen anything like it.”
The Raptors are playing without three starters, who will be out indefinitely — Pascal Siakam (groin), Marc Gasol (hamstring) and Norman Powell (shoulder).
The Pacers, meanwhile, saw their five-game winning streak end with a 117-89 loss to the host Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night. It was only their second loss this season by more than 11 points, both to the Bucks.
Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, who played for the Bucks until this season after they drafted him in 2016, had 10 points and 10 assists in his homecoming. Domantas Sabonis led Indiana with 19 points and 18 rebounds after being a game-time decision because of a sore hip.
Brogdon is playing with taped-up fingers on his right hand after he dislocated his right pinkie and tore a ligament in the finger earlier this month.
“It’s definitely something I notice when I’m on the court, but I feel like I’ve been able to do the best I can with it,” he told the Indianapolis Star. “People here have been playing with all types of injuries that the media or other people don’t know about. It’s just something minor.”
The Pacers were without guard Jeremy Lamb (groin) for the second consecutive game Sunday. He was a game-time decision.
The Raptors have needed the reserves to step up, and they did Sunday. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 18 points, while Chris Boucher scored a career-best 21 points and added seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Toronto reserves outscored Dallas reserves 48-20.
“When somebody gets hurt, we all know that we have to step up,” Boucher said. “And it’s easier when you have somebody like Kyle (Lowry), that’s been there for years and always has a way to tell us what to do or what he needs from us and he was exceptional today, with all the plays he did and all the shots that he hit.”
Nurse said he did not give much thought to shutting his team down when the deficit reached 30 with a game the next day.
“I think I would say historically we have always been a team that fights,” Nurse said. “In my time here, we hardly ever mail it in, and it is a good characteristic to have. That thought barely came into my head there, and I said, ‘We are going to give it a go to start the fourth.'”
This will be the first meeting between the teams this season. Toronto won two of three from Indiana last season, though the Pacers beat the visiting Raptors 110-106 on Jan. 23 in the final meeting. Pacers star Victor Oladipo suffered a serious knee injury in the second quarter of that game from which he is still rehabilitating.
–Field Level Media