Pacers pound Raptors in effort to improve playoff seed
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Peja Stojakovic scored 27 points, as the
Indiana Pacers continued their fight for a better playoff seed with a 120-95
rout of Toronto at the Air Canada Centre.
Anthony Johnson scored 22 points and dished nine assists for the Pacers, who
have won four of their last five contests. Stephen Jackson netted 21 points,
while Jermaine O’Neal added 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for
the Pacers, who entered Monday tied with Milwaukee and Chicago for the sixth
seed in the Eastern Conference.
Morris Peterson scored 27 points to pace the Raptors, who have dropped 11 of
their last 12 games. Joey Graham scored 18 points, while Mike James netted 14.
Charlie Villanueva scored 13 points, and Loren Woods added 12 points and 14
Peterson scored the first two points of the game, but Johnson responded with a
layup and a fade-away jumper as Indiana never relinquished the lead
The Pacers went on a 10-2 run early in the first quarter, capped by a hook
shot banked in by Jackson with 6:05 left to take a 22-11 lead. Indiana led
40-29 heading into the second quarter.
Toronto came out in the first quarter of the second stanza on a 12-4 spurt,
finished by two slams by Woods to trail 44-41. Sparked by a Stojakovic finger
roll, Indiana closed the quarter on a 20-5 run to blow the game open, and led
70-51 at halftime.
The Pacers closed the third quarter on an 18-7 run, capped by an O’Neal jumper
with 1:12 remaining to lead 103-68 heading into the final stanza.
Indiana closed a brief two-game road trip. The Pacers, who are in the playoffs
for the ninth straight year, will close out the regular season at Conseco
Fieldhouse versus the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
The Raptors ended a two-game homestand and are 1-6 in their last seven games
at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto is 15-26 at home this season and concludes
the 2005-06 campaign Wednesday in Chicago.
Indiana, which is 14-27 on the road this season, ended a two-game losing
streak to the Raptors with a win on April 5…The Pacers have won eight of the
last 11 meetings…The Pacers have won five of their last seven at Toronto.