Shed That Playoff Monkey and Get'r Done!
Well it was Deja vu for the Toronto Raptors as they fell in Game 6 to the Indiana Pacers, losing 101-83 on Friday night in Indianapolis.
And it was pretty much the exact same script as their just-as-ugly 100-83 Game 4 loss, where they turned the ball over too many times and stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were rendered mostly ineffective.
In Game 6, Toronto gave the ball away 17 times, leading to 20 Pacers points. In Game 4 they turned the ball over 19 times for 25 points against.
As usual, Indiana's Paul George, the leading playoff scorer in the NBA, led the way with 21 points, 11 rebounds and two steals as the Pacers used an 18-0 run to seal with win.
DeRozan managed to score a paltry eight points, shooting 3-for-13, and Lowry wasn't much better with 10 points after going 4-for-14.
DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph led the Raptors with 15 points apiece.
Now it's do or die for Toronto at home at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday night (8 p.m. EST).
If History Means Anything
But history is not on the Raptors side as they haven't won a playoff series since way back in 2001 - a 15-year drought that's the longest active streak in the NBA.
Moreover, Toronto has never - ever - won a best-of-seven series, so history is clearly against them and there's no doubt DeRozan and company will be feeling some serious pressure.
And for the Raptors to finally put the Pacers away, DeRozan and Lowry have to get it done and find their offensive rhythm.
Fortunately Toronto can clinch the series on home court at the ACC, where they play their best ball and where DeRozan shone in Game 5, scoring 34 points.
But for the Raptors to finally get that playoff monkey off their collective back (they've only ever won one playoff series, in 2001 against the NY Knicks), they must limit the amount of turnovers. They can't be giving the Pacers easy points because Indiana will make they pay just as they've done in their three wins this series so far.
Raptors vs Pacers Game 6 Video Recap
Raptors/Pacers First Round Playoff Series Summary & Schedule
- Game 1: Indiana 100 Toronto 90
- Game 2: Toronto 98 Indiana 87
- Game 3: Toronto 101 Indiana 85
- Game 4: Indiana 100 Toronto 83
- Game 5: Toronto 102 Indiana 99
- Game 6: Indiana 101 Toronto 83
- Game 7: Indiana at Toronto, Sun., May 1 8 p.m. EST
Raptors Top-5 Playoff Scoring Leaders (through six games)
- DeMar DeRozan 15.8 PPG
- Kyle Lowry 14.3 PPG
- Jonas Valanciunas 14.2 PPG
- Cory Joseph 11.2 PPG
- DeMarre Carroll 9.5 PPG