INDIANAPOLIS – Rudy Gay scored 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and overtime Friday night, rallying the Toronto Raptors to a 100-98 victory over the weary Indiana Pacers.
The game went into overtime after Amir Johnson’s buzzer-beating tip-in stood following a replay review. The Raptors won it when Gay hit a 17-foot jumper with 1.7 seconds left and Paul George’s 15-footer rimmed out as the horn sounded.
David West scored 30 points and George had 26 as the Pacers’ 15-game home winning streak came to an end.
DeMar DeRozan scored 22 to make Toronto (18-32) the first team to win twice at Indiana (31-20) this season.
Indiana appeared to have the game won when West grabbed a rebound in the closing seconds of regulation with the Pacers clinging to a 90-88 lead, but he threw the ball away and Johnson’s tip tied it at 90.
The Raptors scored the first four points in overtime, but when George Hill missed the second of two free throws with 1:30 to go, the game was tied at 98. Gay broke the tie with a 17-footer with 1.7 seconds left, and Toronto hung on when George missed a runner.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel was understandably worried about fatigue as the Pacers prepared for their fourth game in five days.
Early on it showed when the Raptors started the game by going 6 of 8 against the NBA’s best team in defensive field goal percentage.
And it showed late, too, when the Pacers opened the fourth quarter by missing their first eight shots, then couldn’t wrap things up in regulation.
Indiana led 90-86 after West made two free throws with 10.7 seconds left, but Johnson tipped in a missed shot and, after West’s turnover in the closing seconds, Johnson tipped in another errant shot to tie it. He finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
It was a wacky night.
Indiana led 72-64 after three quarters, then inexplicably missed its first eight shots in the fourth.
Toronto took advantage of the scoring drought with a dunk from Andrea Bargnani, a 20-footer from John Lucas and two free throws from Gay to make it 72-70. Gay eventually drove in for a layup to finally tie the score at 72, and when he hit an 11-foot runner with 7:53 to play, Toronto led 74-72.
That’s when the Pacers dug down.
West hit a 9-footer to tie the score, Gay made a 7-footer to break the tie and the teams traded the lead four times over a 3-minute span late in the game.
Then, with the score tied at 79, George, who had only two points through the first 19 minutes of the second half after scoring 18 in the first half, knocked down a 3-pointer to break the tie and Hill followed that with another 3 that made it 85-80. But the Pacers couldn’t hold on.