(Toronto, On) The Toronto Raptors end their seven-game home winning streak, losing 118-114 to the Indiana Pacers at Scotiabank Arena.

The Raptors fall to 35-38 on the year and 23-14 at home. They remain ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Both teams were undermanned Wednesday night as Tyrese Haliburton and Chris Duarte were ruled out for the Pacers and Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., and Precious Achiuwa sat out for the Raptors. The Raptors came out flat as Pacers went on a shooting spree, scoring on nine of their first 13 shots. The Pacers ended the first quarter shooting 75% from the field and led the Raptors 36-26 after 1. Aurora, Ontario native Andrew Nembhard started strongly, scoring 14 of the Pacers 36 points. 

In the second quarter, Toronto continued their lackluster play on both ends, shooting 3/13 from three-point range and failed to match the Pacers energy. Indiana’s bench played at a comfortable pace as TJ McConnell, Aaron Nesmith, and Jordan Nwora provided an offensive spark, taking a 44-32 lead at the 7:05 mark. 

To start the third quarter, the Raptors went deep into the rotation, as Jeff Dowtin Jr., and Malachi Flynn saw floor time. They trailed 83-78 after 3.

Toronto had a productive fourth quarter as Fred VanVleet scored 11 points and Jakob Poeltl led the Raptors defensively with two blocks. The Raptors forced 15 Pacers turnovers and scored 17 second chance points to tie the game at 73-73. A 12-4 run over 3:27, was led by Flynn who was +8 during that stretch.

It was truly an entertaining fourth quarter as both teams showed aggressiveness and desperation. Pascal Siakam led the Raptors, scoring 18 of his 28 points in the final frame. Both teams were scoring “bucket for bucket” until the Pacers broke the game open late in the fourth. 

Unfortunately, the Raptors couldn’t get it going from three-point range as they shot 2/12 in the quarter. Nembhard hit a clutch three shot with 33 seconds to go as the Pacers outhustled the Raptors and got the W. 

For Toronto, Pascal Siakam finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. VanVleet dropped 28 points, two rebounds, and 11 assists. Poeltl hustled on both ends as he finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. Chris Boucher filled the void on the bench, finishing with 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks. OG Anunoby had a tough game, as he shot 2/13 from the field, only scoring seven points. Ultimately, the Raptors never recovered from their first quarter woes, as they shot 21% from three overall, and missed several key rotational players. 

The Pacers put together a complete game as they shot 56% from the field and 52% from three-point range. The team was led by Nembhard who scored a team high 25 points to go along with 10 assists. Myles Turner took advantage of the Raptors poor paint defense and scored 16 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Benedict Mathurin only attempted five shots but ended with an efficient 15 points. McConnell used his strength to get inside the paint and finished with 14 points, seven assists, and two steals. Although Indiana was missing their floor general Haliburton, the squad looked determined and aggressive all night, standing strong with each Raptors run, earning an excellent win. 

It was a special night for Canadian basketball, as Nembhard, Mathurin, and Oshae Brissett made history, becoming the first trio of Canadians to start in an NBA game. The number of Canadian players in the NBA continues to increase every year as the basketball scene in Canada rapidly evolves. Friends and families of the trio were present for this matchup as this win proved that the future of Canadian basketball is in good hands.

Although Trent, Barnes, and Achiuwa were all listed as game-time decisions, they were ruled out close to tip-off and Coach Nick Nurse had to go deeper into his bench rotation and create new lineups and combinations. With less than ten games remaining in the regular season, every game is a “must win” as a full roster is much needed during this crucial time. The Raps have dealt with several injuries dating back to the first week of the regular season. The hope is for the Raptors to hold their play-in spot and finish strong in their final homestand.

The Raptors look to end their two-game slide as they take on the Detroit Pistons on March 24th, at Scotiabank Arena. 

Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers boxscore click HERE.



Pascal Siakam: 31 PTS 10 REB 7 AST

Fred VanVleet: 28 PTS 2 REB 11 AST

Jakob Poeltl: 23 PTS 8 REB 2 BLK


Andrew Nembhard: 25 PTS 2 REB 10 AST

Myles Turner: 16 PTS 7 REB 3 AST

Bennedict Mathurin: 15 PTS 2 REB 3 3PT

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