Allen will play off the bench and Vogel hinted that starting center Ian Mahinmi will also see minutes with the reserves since that unit has struggled to defend and rebound. Mahinmi scored a career-high 22 points and added on 10 rebounds to his night. But there was no better story than Mahinmi, who made his first career trip to the postgame interview room to meet with the media.
Lowry played two seasons at Villanova, where he excelled in Jay Wright’s four-guard offense with Allan Ray, Randy Foye, and Mike Nardi. Wing play had been a problem for Toronto until Game 3, so that was a welcomed sight. “That’s what we did from the very first minute”.
Mahinmi, who had his playing time limited earlier in the series because of a sprained lower back, recorded playoff highs of 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in Indiana’s 100-83 win.
Instead of a tightly contested matchup between two highly skilled defensive teams, we saw another butt-whipping. While they did not post huge offensive numbers, the team outrebounded IN by 11 boards while also outshooting them.
The Pacers were able to chip away a little, but Lowry got hot at the end and the Raptors went on to win 101-85 on the road to take a 2-1 series lead. The Pacers as a team shot 33 free throws at home to 16 by Toronto. “I think he was the biggest difference”.
Toronto Raptors’ Patrick Patterson (54) defends as Indiana Pacers’ Paul George (13) drives to the net during the first half in Game 1 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs in Toronto, Saturday, April 16, 2016.
Paul George added 19 points for IN, which shot 47 percent from the field. Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Luis Scola and Jonas Valanciunas are the expected starters for the Raptors. Jonas Valanciunas, in particular, looks more mature than ever and is controlling the paint against opposing starters. “I feel like we’ve had that all season”. We put him defensively in there with that second unit to be sort of a middle linebacker and help manage that group to get stops. “The way we moved the ball today and played defense today needs to carry over to Game 5”.
It’s only the fifth time Toronto has had a lead in a series. The Pacers outrebounded the Raptors for the first time in the series, 43-40.
“When we felt like they were making runs, we kind of had great opportunities to answer back”, said George Hill. My teammates did an awesome job of finding me.
The game was marred by a scuffle midway through the fourth quarter.
“He’s just now probably getting his sea legs, the rhythm of the game, the speed of the game”, Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. The series is now a best of 3. Every game has been decided by double digits. The Pacers had the advantage after a Game 1 win in Toronto, but two games later, they’re in a must-win situation at home Saturday.
“It’s not the best right now”, said Mahinmi, an eighth-year centre. We’ve just got to stay within ourselves. “We’ve got to understand what we’re doing well and try to do it again”.
There’s no better time than Tuesday night’s Game 5 to prove it again.
Less than an hour before tipoff, the public address outside the Bankers Life Fieldhouse was announcing tickets were still available, but the game was eventually announced as a sellout of 18,165.