Villanueva leads Toronto to big win over Pacers
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Charlie Villanueva had 25 points and 10
rebounds while Chris Bosh tallied 22 points and 12 boards to lead the Toronto
Raptors to a 99-97 come-from-behind victory over the Indiana Pacers at Conseco
Mike James scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, as the Raptors
turned a 16-point deficit into their biggest win of the season. James, who
also had 10 assists, hit a pair of shots in the final minutes that gave
Toronto its first lead of the game and allowed the club to secure its second
Morris Peterson made two big steals in the waning moments and scored 16 points
for the Raptors, who have won four of six.
Stephen Jackson had 23 points for the Pacers, who have dropped four in a row.
Jermaine O’Neal and Fred Jones added 20 points apiece for Indiana, which went
cold from the field over the final quarter.
The Pacers grabbed their largest lead of the game late in the third period
after Jones drained a basket for a 77-61 advantage.
The Raptors answered with a 20-5 burst that bridged the final two quarters to
get back into the game. A pair of James free throws sent Toronto into the
fourth down 77-68. Then, Villanueva scored six points during the early stages
of the fourth quarter and Bosh’s three-point play five minutes into the stanza
drew the Raptors within 82-81.
Indiana responded by increasing its lead to 89-83 following a 7-2 surge
culminated by Anthony Johnson’s bucket with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the
Toronto, though, continued to stay within striking distance and James’ three-
pointer with 3:28 left on the clock made it a two-point contest, 91-89.
Then, down just a point following Bosh’s three-point play, Jones missed a
three-pointer with 2:15 left and Villanueva grabbed the rebound and was
fouled. The rookie hit 1-of-2 from the line to tie the game.
O’Neal then missed a jumper on the other end and James hit a driving layup
with 1:37 remaining to give the Raptors their first lead of the game, 95-93.
On the Pacers’ next possession, O’Neal turned the ball over and James again
converted on the offensive end to extend the advantage to 97-93 with just one
Peterson then stole a Pacers pass and went the length of the court for a dunk
with 40 seconds left to make it a six-point contest.
Indiana made it interesting when Jackson hit three free throws with 24 seconds
left to get within 99-96. Then, Austin Croshere hit the first of two free
throws to get within two points with 2.5 seconds left. His second was missed
intentionally and went out of bounds off Toronto. However, Peterson stole the
ensuing inbounds pass with 1.4 seconds left and the Raptors went on to the
Indiana led 31-22 after one quarter and 55-45 at halftime.
This was the first meeting of the season between these two clubs…Six of
Toronto’s eight wins have come on the road…Indiana fell to 9-4 at home…The
Pacers shot 42.5 percent for the game, compared to 47.5 shooting for
Toronto…The Raptors held a 50-38 edge in the paint.