It was a packed house for Game 7 in a ‘Win or Go Home’ battle between the Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers in the final game of their opening round NBA playoffs series. The Raptors fans were out in full force, and helped set a new Raptors playoff attendance record at the Air Canada Centre:
— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) May 2, 2016
DeMar DeRozan scored 30 or more points for the second time this series, but he made only 10-32 field goal attempts. DeRozan was hot to start, scoring 13 points in the first quarter, even outscoring the white-hot Paul George, who had 12 points of his own in the opening frame. The game was a close affair through the first half; Raptors led 28-23 after the 1st quarter, and just 50-44 at half. Toronto managed to stretch the lead to 14 points after the third quarter, outscoring the Pacers 28-20 in the third. Toronto led Indiana, 78-64 after three quarters, but Toronto proceeded to make Raptors fans everywhere nervous by scoring just 11 points in the final frame. The Raptors held a much as a 16 point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Pacers pulled within three points. The Pacers put together a solid 4th quarter and capitalized on the Raptors missed shots (just 4-20 in the fourth quarter) by scoring consistently on their own possessions (7-14 shooting in the fourth quarter). The Pacers weren’t able to completely erase their fourth quarter deficit, much to the relief and delight of Raptors fans everywhere, as Toronto won 89-84 in front of the aforementioned record setting crowd at the Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors’ rookie, Norman Powell, continues to impress as he set a personal career playoff scoring high with 13 points. Patrick Patterson hit some very timely three-point shots, making three of his five attempts from beyond the arc, as part of his 11 points in the game. The Pacers’ Paul George had another monster game; scoring 26 points, pulling down 12 boards, and collecting three steals. Paul George was an absolute superstar in this series, stepping up for the Pacers, and doing everything he could to help give his team a fighting chance.
This best of 7 game series win, is the first in Raptors franchise history, and only the second time they have advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs in franchise history. The last time was in the 2000-01 season, beating the New York Knicks in five games (best of 5 series) to face the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
Up next for Toronto is the Miami Heat! Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals tips off at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night, May 3rd, at 8pm ET.
Notable Raptors stat lines
DeMar DeRozan – 30 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals, two blocks
Jonas Valanciunas – 10 points, 15 rebounds, one block
Norman Powell – 13 points, three rebounds, one steal, one block
Kyle Lowry – 11 points, four rebounds, nine assists, one steal
Patrick Patterson – 11 points, four rebounds, three assists
Notable Pacers stat lines
Paul George – 26 points, 12 rebounds, three steals
Monta Ellis – 15 points, four rebounds, seven assists
George Hill – 19 points, two assists, one steal
Postgame Media Sessions:
DeMar DeRozan & Kyle Lowry
Frank Vogel and Paul George talk with the media following the Game 7 and series loss to the Raptors
Postgame Locker Room Reactions: