With Kyle Lowry and DeMar Derozan driving from the backcourt, the Toronto Raptors are on track for the best season in franchise history.
Against Indiana on Thursday night, the duo wore down the Pacers late and gave the Raptors the clutch plays they needed to keep close to Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland.
Both Lowry and DeRozan finished with 28 points in guiding the Raptors to a 101-94 win in overtime at Indiana after the Pacers appeared headed for yet another win against an Eastern Conference playoff team. Indiana was coming off a home win Wednesday over Boston.
DeRozan scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and overtime combined, and it was his play during a 4-minute stretch in the middle minutes of the fourth that swung the game in Toronto's favour. After Paul George gave the Pacers a 74-70 advantage with 6:35 left, DeRozan scored 10 of Toronto's next 15 points. His fallback jumper on the right wing with 1:25 left gave Toronto an 85-84 lead.
Monta Ellis had a chance at the foul line to put Indiana ahead, but he missed his first free-throw attempt. He made the second, tying the game at 85. DeRozan then had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation but missed a fade-away jumper on the wing as time expired.
In overtime, Lowry did his part to help Toronto improve to 26-7 since Jan. 1. He scored eight points in the extra period and his activity with the basketball and away from it disrupted the Pacers on the defensive end. That allowed Toronto (46-21) to score 16 points in the extra 5 minutes.
Lowry added four assists and eight rebounds, but he also committed eight turnovers. Bismack Biyombo finished with career-high 16 points and grabbed a franchise-record 25 rebounds.
George led the Pacers with 18 points and nine rebounds. George Hill added 18 points and CJ Miles had 13 off the bench.
Pacers: Rookie Myles Turner was awarded the Rookie of the Month award for games played in February. ... Center Ian Mahinmi sat out with a sore lower back. ... The Pacers fell to 20-12 at home this season and 1-7 in overtime. ... Indiana needs one home win to secure a winning home record for the 27th straight year. ... George passed Detlef Schrempf for 10th on Pacers career scoring list. ... Hill needs 12 3-pointers to pass Chuck Person on the franchise's career made 3-pointers list.
Raptors: Toronto needs three more road wins to set a franchise record (Thursday's road victory was the 20th of the season). ... Dwane Casey became the first coach in franchise history to notch 200 career victories. ... DeRozan has scored at least 25 points in five of Toronto's last six games. ... DeRozan played in his 509th career game Thursday, tying Chris Bosh for third on the franchise's career games played list.
Pacers: Host Oklahoma City on Saturday.
Raptors: Host Boston on Friday.