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(31-20) INDIANA PACERS, 119 VS. (37-14) TORONTO RAPTORS, 118 SCOTIABANK ARENA WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2020
TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES
NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)
On staying with Serge Ibaka after he picked up his fifth foul … At that point in the game, it was kind of on the line – I thought, anyway. I think we might have been down around 10 at the time or something and I just figured you try that for a little bit and see what happens. He was playing really well, and it was like save him for what. Fortunately he was able to last it.
On the guys just going crazy when they are trapping and pressing on defence … We certainly had some energy left at the end the way that we were moving. You are just trying to get them into something that changes the rhythm of the game and they were in great rhythm. They were really carving us to pieces and we got them out of their sets and then as we have seen with that press before, once you get one they look shaky quickly. It is not just them – you have seen us do it, we’ve been pressed and we give one up and all of sudden it turns into three really quick. It takes you out of your offence. The play of the night really was, obviously that last possession, it was like 29 seconds long I think and they had it the whole time until we got out of there, but we had decided to blitz the next (Malcolm) Brogdan pick and roll about 1:50 earlier and we were pre-rotating to (Domantas) Sabonis on that and we remembered to do it. Which after all that stuff that was going on and they did it. Sabonis kind of got stuck right there at the beginning and when Brogdan came off that thing and let go, I was like, perfect, I thought maybe we would steal that but we were there. Then we froze him and kind of got back and (Victor) Oladipo got a pretty good look there at the end, but still we were flying around pretty good.
On a strange game from Pascal Siakam, but coming through at the end … That’s what he did, he stayed in there. He wasn’t getting to really balanced shots in there, he was getting to some great positions, like one where he got to like two feet and shot it about six all the way over the basket to other side. It was like he made a really good move and for some reason his balance was being affected I thought pretty much early in the game and then he just decided to start coming downhill at the. He would go for it once, then slam on the brakes and kick it out once, then go for it. He made great reads again, this is maybe his third, fourth close game we’ve had where he has delivered scoring or passing down the stretch and of course those guys have made the shots which is big.
KYLE LOWRY (32 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds)
Do you feel like this team is never out of the game regardless even when you’re down 10, 15 points? We play 48 minutes. That’s how we play. We put a little pressure on them and made some shots, got aggressive and started playing a little bit better defense down the stretch. We played a little faster, more aggressive and Pascal made some great plays. He made some big shots.
Does it give you confidence, knowing you guys have gone to the press late in games with success? It’s not confidence, it’s doing what we have to do to try to win basketball games, no matter what it takes. It’s what we’ve always tried to do and something we build on. We try to get better as a team. Every game is learning a lesson and you continue to get better throughout the season and enjoy this journey.
Is there something you guys have been doing differently during this winning streak? Day-by-day, game-by-game, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute. We don’t think about the streak. … We think about how to win games.
Have you seen an improvement in Serge Ibaka’s passing? Yes, he has made a very conscious effort to make the extra pass. He made a great pass to Pascal on the run tonight. I think he’s getting comfortable doing what he wanted to do and what is needed.
PASCAL SIAKAM (25 points, nine rebounds, five assists)
Do you feel the team is never really out of it regardless of the score? Yes, we just keep playing. We understand that most of the time it’s about us bringing the intensity up and correcting some of the mistakes that we make. We always know that it’s just a matter of time that we are going to get a rhythm to the game and get stops. Anything can happen.
Is there a method to the press late in games? I think we just make it powerful, especially during the whole game they felt like it was easy and got whatever they wanted. We wanted to make sure we made it hard on them. Better pressure, flying around. They made a lot of threes so once we collapsed we had to get out to them.
On coming up big on both ends late in the game… It was a tough game. At the end of the game, it doesn’t matter what the result is – if I make 20 shots or I miss 20 shots – as long as I continue to be aggressive and you could argue that I could have calls or no calls, whatever the case may be. I think at the end of the day for me I have to stay aggressive. No matter the result, I have to have the same attitude. It was on me to contribute to make sure I go out there and be the best player I can be.
Is there anything that stands out about this winning streak? I think it’s a little bit of everything. We play together, no matter what happens we stay calm and weather the storm and continue to play basketball. We don’t get down on ourselves when we miss shots or have turnovers or be down 20. It’s about us staying together as a team and I think we did a great job of that tonight. Even when it wasn’t going well, we didn’t really have anybody talking down on anybody or anybody pointing fingers. It was about us getting together. Once we turn it on we know we can win any night.
SERGE IBAKA (30 points, seven rebounds, three assists)
What do you think was the biggest key to the comeback? I think we keep our composure during the game. We know we’ve beat them before. We’ve beat them many times before in the position. We just didn’t give up. We try to keep competing to the end.
How did feel when that feel when that 3 dropped at the end? It feels good. I missed a couple open 3s earlier. Coach told me at the timeout, “hey Serge, keep shooting with confidence and push the ball.” He gave me a lot of confidence.
Is that something you’ve been working on? Yes, I’ve been working on it. That’s another reason, too. Once I got the ball I said to myself, “I have to shoot it.” I work on the shot every day and it went in.
It feels like you’re never out of the game, is that how you approach it? Like I said earlier, we’ve been there before, even in the playoffs. It’s a mindset of don’t give up, keep trusting each other, don’t point fingers when things go bad. We stay together. I think that’s what makes us very special.
(31-20) INDIANA PACERS, 118 VS. (37-14) TORONTO RAPTORS, 119 SCOTIABANK ARENA WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2020
INDIANA PACERS QUOTES
NATE MCMILLAN (HEAD COACH)
What went wrong in the last couple of minutes? Turnovers, just not handling the ball, executing down the stretch, 27 points off of turnovers. You just got to take care of the basketball.
What did you see from your team with Victor Oladipo inserted into the starting lineup? We gave ourselves a chance to win tonight. We had this game; we’ve got to finish games when you have a team down. Just poor execution the last five minutes of this game. Defensively, the second half we gave up 71 points. So we’ve got to finish games.
What do you think contributed to the turnovers? Spacing, being careless with the basketball. You’ve just got to execute. We knew they were a team that had a trap, and we didn’t get our spacing, and just didn’t care of the basketball.
VICTOR OLADIPO (13 points, two assists, two rebounds)
On tonight’s game… I think down the stretch (it was) little mistakes. I felt like we were playing to just maintain the lead instead of playing to win the game. That’s just my personal opinion. They executed. We didn’t execute. I felt like they knew exactly what they wanted to do down the stretch and I felt like we didn’t. We weren’t really sure, but again, it’s probably because I haven’t played with them in a long time. But it’s good for us to have these kinds of games now than later in the season or in the playoffs so we know what we need to do better … Something to learn from. Obviously we’ve all got to watch film and get better. We play them again on Friday, so it’s a quick turnaround. We’ve got to be ready to play.
Are you surprised by Toronto’s win streak? No. They’ve been good for a really long time, even before this year and last year. They are well-coached, their players know their roles, they know what they’re supposed to do, and really not supposed to do. They know certain parts of the game, when it’s going to happen, what needs to be executed, they know who’s going to have the ball, who’s not going to have the ball, and they know what they need to do to help their team win. That’s why they’re successful.
MALCOLM BROGDON (24 points, six rebounds, six assists)
On tonight’s ending… We couldn’t get stops at the end. They made some tough buckets. (It) was just sort of a series of things.
Do you guys have an issue with dealing with this kind of pressure down the stretch? No. I mean, it’s happened a few times, but we don’t have a problem with that. We just struggled with it tonight.
What in particular made it difficult tonight? It was on us. We just weren’t organized. It wasn’t a special press. We just weren’t organized in our spots. We didn’t get the ball up the court fast enough. We didn’t attack it. A lot of the time with press breaks, you’ve got to attack it (and) try and get a bucket or layup on the other end. We were really just trying to get it over half court.
FINAL SCORE: TORONTO RAPTORS 119, INDIANA PACERS 118
DATE: FEBRUARY 5, 2020 ATTENDANCE: 19,800 (Sellout)
FINAL SCORE RECORD HIGH POINTS HIGH REBOUNDS HIGH ASSISTS
Indiana 118 31-20 Brogdon – 24 Sabonis – 11 Sabonis – 10
Toronto 119 37-14 Lowry – 32 Siakam – 9 Lowry – 10
Trailing 118-108 with 2:27 remaining, the Raptors scored the final 11 points of the game for the one point victory … The Pacers committed four turnovers and missed both of their field goal attempts during this stretch.
The Raptors outscored Indiana 56-34 in the paint and 31-7 on the fast-break.
• With the win, Toronto improves to 37-14 this season and 19-7 at home … The Raptors have now won 12 straight games at home against the Pacers … Toronto plays at Indiana on Friday night.
• The Raptors have won a franchise record 12 straight games (Jan 15 – Feb. 5) – the longest winning streak in Toronto sports history.
• Toronto’s 37-14 after 51 games is the best in franchise history.
• The Raptors shot 50 per cent (43-for-86) from the field … Toronto has shot at least .500 from the floor in each of the last three games, shooting .525 (134-255) during this span.
• Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 32 points and 10 assists in 38 minutes of action – his fifth 30-point game of the season … Lowry posted his seventh game with 30+ points and 10+ assists as a Raptor.
• Serge Ibaka scored a season-high 30 points in 34 minutes … Ibaka scored 20+ points for the fourth time in the last five games, and 13th time this season.
• The Raptors had five players score double figures – Lowry (32), Ibaka (30), Pascal Siakam (25), Terence Davis (11) and Fred VanVleet (10).
• With the loss, Indiana falls to 31-20 on the season and 13-13 on the road … The Paces have dropped three in a row (Feb. 1-5) … Indiana hosts the Raptors on Friday night.
• Indiana’s reserves outscored Toronto’s bench 55-22.
• The Pacers shot .524 (43-for-82) from the floor, including .487 (19-for-39) from 3-point range.
• Malcolm Brogdon scored a team-high 24 points, including nine in the first quarter … Brogdon added six rebounds and six assists in 34 minutes … He led the team in scoring for the fifth time.
• Domantas Sabonis recorded his third career triple-double with 15 points and game highs of 11 rebounds and 10 assists in 36 minutes.
• The Pacers had five players score in double digits – Brogdon (24), Justin Holiday (22), Doug McDermott (19), Sabonis (15) and Victor Oladipo (13) … Holiday’s 22 points were a season high …Oladipo played 25 minutes in his first start of the season.
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On tonight’s game as a missed opportunity:
Yeah, I think that’s fair. We did get a good start, set us up really well. There was a lot of game left to play so I don’t know if it was a missed opportunity necessarily, but very disappointing we weren’t able to build upon that. Instead, we gave it back and dug ourselves a hole we weren’t able to get out of.
On where the team was most vulnerable as the game went on:
Well, obviously, the third goal. We had two faceoffs right away there that we just weren’t alive on. They have them, bang-bang. It’s 2-1, you can manage that – 3-1 is tough. So that was a big moment. I thought the second period we had a lot of really good things happening. Obviously, we scored the goal to make it one. The fourth goal was pretty defeating and devastating, frankly. We just didn’t have anything from there.
On Andersen’s status and Hutchinson’s play:
I have no update on Freddie at this point. In terms of Hutch, I thought that we need saves as a team. We need him to be better in those spots when we have those lapses there. At the same time, our team has to do a better job of protecting. The second goal, again, it’s a bang-bang play off the faceoff, we’ll give them that one, but then to not be alive and ready right off the drop of the next one, that’s just making life real hard on your goalie so we don’t like that one. He dropped his stick there on the fourth one, but we need a save on it.
On if Hutchinson will start the next game:
It’s too early to tell. There’s a lot going on obviously with Fred and some other things too. We’re just going to have to see how things settle down tomorrow and see where we’re at.
On how the team can turn it around moving forward:
We need a good response from our team. We need to show life and character and all those types of things. I didn’t really like today. I know it’s tough, it’s hard when you kind of work your way back to get it 3-2 and then you feel like you’ve got a chance and then the next shot goes in. That’s real tough on the players and the team. We have to find a way to be better there and give ourselves more life and more energy and recognize the game is still there, there’s lots of time left. But, in terms of how we stop it from spiraling, we’ve just got to regroup, go back on home ice and have an effort more like we had against Florida all the way through and try to get a better result from it.
MICHAEL HUTCHINSON (30 SAVES)
On tonight’s game:
I think we just had a couple breakdowns early on. Dug us a hole early and from there, it’s hard to get back from it. I thought we had a lot of good chances around the net. Their goalie made some big saves. It was one of those games. Just fell behind early and just couldn’t get going and get back.
On the Rangers’ fourth goal:
I lost my stick and then [Dermott] and I had a little miscommunication trying to get my stick back. The play kind of turned into a shot from a good spot. The guy didn’t make a good shot, it’s a save I should make but it was one of those plays where trying to get my stick put me a little bit behind the play and that’s what happened.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (2 GOALS)
On tonight’s loss:
I thought we started well; I think we just continue to have these lulls throughout the game where we’re just not playing at our best. Then the chances that we’re giving up burnt. Just too many 2-on-1s, odd man rushes — they were a bit egregious. I think that’s where we’re at.
On giving up two goals in six seconds:
I think it’s just attention to detail. You give up the goal, a lot of times you’ll get taken off the ice, but obviously he kept us on. You’ve got to be more ready than that off the faceoff. Obviously, they’ve got guys that can fly, Kreider can skate well and gets a good jump off faceoffs all the time.
JAKE MUZZIN (20:20 TOI)
On where the game got away from the team:
In the first, I think, after we scored, we kind of let up and wanted an easy game. They took it to us, and they answered, and we weren’t ready for it. So we’ve got to play hard and play the right way for 60. And no matter what the score is or what the situation is — up one, down one, whatever it may be — we’ve got to stick to it. We got away from it tonight and it bit us.
On if a lack of attention to detail is to blame:
Yeah, some of that and our work ethic. Sometimes when we go up, we just want the easy game and it’s not supposed to be easy. It’s not going to be easy. So we’ve got to do a better job of playing with the lead, I think.
JOHN TAVARES (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)
On what went wrong tonight:
Well, the second half of the first period — after a pretty good start – just wasn’t very good and obviously we gave up some quick ones and then we were playing from behind. We had a pretty good second period. Obviously, get within one and then they were able to respond right away, which always hurts, especially when we were able to get ourselves back in it. We do the same in the third, just probably a little too late. Didn’t really get our pressure going, we didn’t generate much in the first ten. It’s just one of those nights. We let it get away from us in the second half of the first period and did some good things at many points of the game but obviously not enough.
On if frustration led to his late-game scuffle with Ryan Lindgren:
Well, he crossed-checked me and then he just shoved me so I’m not going to stand there and take it. I stand my ground and compete and fight for my ice. Obviously, not a position we want to be in at that point of the game. Whether or not that plays into or not, maybe a little bit. Just trying to fight for my ice.