Cory Joseph is from Pickering, a suburb of Toronto. He was the Raptors’ backup point guard for the last 2 seasons. This past summer, he was traded to Indiana to make room for CJ Miles. Tonight is his first game back in Toronto as an opposing player.
Joseph was a solid backup and filled in well when Lowry was injured. He hit a memorable game-winning 3 in Washington at the buzzer. He even wore #6 to rep the city that extra little bit. He will get a warm welcome back tonight.
The Raptors lost in Indiana last week. Lance Stephenson took over late in the 4th quarter, and was given carte blanche to foul DeMar DeRozan on 2 key plays down the stretch. He also once pushed his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of stairs, then bashed her head against the bottom step. F*ck that guy.
We lookin for revenge tonight.
All 5 Raptor starters score in the first 4 minutes. The Pacers push back over the next 4. They play fast and tenacious, you can’t be too cool against them.
Drake is here.
Cory Joseph checks in to some applause. Victor Oladipo is killing the Raps in transition, speeding through for layups.
End of Q1: Pacers 32, Raps 27
Lance, being the degenerate that he is, picked up a technical foul during the quarter break.
The Toronto Argonauts are here. They recently won the CFL championship, the Grey Cup.
Some players from Toronto FC are here too. They’re playing for the MLS championship later this month.
Meanwhile, the all-bench unit has put the Raptors ahead. Jakob Poeltl finished a nice left-handed layup on a pick-and-roll.
Oladipo is torching the Raps. Torching!
Oladipo leads all scorers with 20 points. The Raps closed the half strong though. JV had a big and-1 and DeRozan, who has a team-high 12 points, found a rhythm.
Now to that troublesome third quarter.
The Raps manage to keep from melting down immediately. DeRozan scores their first 6 points, then finds JV for a sweet alley-oop. Oladipo, still on fire, is keeping the Pacers close.
End of Q3: Raps 94, Pacers 89
Jakob Poeltl is up to 12 points to lead the bench. He is great at finding open space when a teammate is driving, then catching and finishing.
Norm Powell comes alive with a big 3 and a dunk on Sabonis. Van Vleet drives for a layup, is obviously fouled, but doesn’t get a whistle. He gets up the angriest I’ve ever seen him, which is still not that angry. The entire Raptor team yells at the ref that it should have been an and-1. Raps lead 107–98 with 7:38 to play.
After a couple more bad/missed calls, Lowry yells and claps at a ref and gets T’d up. The Pacers miss the free throw, and the crowd is delighted.
Casey sticks with Van Vleet, Siakam and Poeltl along with Lowry and DeRozan rather than bring the rest of the starters back. Ibaka replaces Poeltl, who had 18 points, with 1:45 to go and the Raps up 116–111.
Serge immediately clanks a jumper and fumbles a rebound out of bounds. He tips out a miss on the next possession to run some clock, so he did do something positive. Then he immediately fumbles away a pass from Lowry, who had a wide open layup he passed up for some reason. The Pacers rush the other way, miss a layup, and Lance is called for a foul, sending DeRozan to the line. The crowd loves it. This feels like proper payback for last week’s loss.
Oladipo finished with 36 points but was quiet in the 4th. The Raps sent more defense swarming at him and the Pacers were too happy to go away from him.
DeRozan led the Raps with 26 points. They got a good team effort tonight.
The Phoenix Suns are here on Tuesday.