|Date of game: 10/31/2012
Recap: Toronto vs. Indiana
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - George Hill floated home the go-ahead bucket with 2.1 seconds remaining as the Indiana Pacers rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to upend the Toronto Raptors, 90-88, in the season opener for both teams at Air Canada Centre.
Hill finished with eight points on 3-of-9 shooting, while David West carried the offensive load with a game-high 25 points for the Pacers, who finished 42-24 last season and were beaten in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the eventual champion Miami Heat.
"West put us on his shoulders and led us to victory," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "They had 10 steals on us in the first half. We just needed to stop turning the ball over."
Paul George contributed a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds, while Roy Hibbert added 14 points and nine boards in the victory.
Kyle Lowry, who was acquired from the Houston Rockets in the offseason, paid immediate dividends for the Raptors with a team-high 21 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Andrea Bargnani scored 16 points, while Jose Calderon donated 15 points off the bench in the defeat for Toronto, which finished 23-43 in 2011-12. Jonas Valanciunas contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Trailing, 84-74, with 5:58 to play, the Pacers fought back with a 14-4 run, capped by 1-of-2 from the free throw line by Hill, to tie the game at 88-88 with 59.5 seconds remaining.
DeMar DeRozan missed a layup at the other end and Hill clanged a three-pointer off the back iron on the Pacers' next touch, but the ball was knocked out of bounds by Toronto, giving the Pacers possession with 22.1 seconds left.
On the final play for the Pacers, Hill took the inbound pass at the top of the key, went to his left and rolled off a screen into the lane before floating home a tear drop layup to give Indiana its first lead since early in the third quarter.
Bargnani got a shot off from the left wing on the final possession, but left it short, sealing the win for Indiana.
"That was a heartbreaking game, and it hurts to lose, but there were a lot of positives," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "We just have to learn how to win late in games."
After a tightly played first quarter that featured eight lead changes and five ties, the Pacers held a 27-25 advantage.
The teams continued to go back and forth in the second quarter, with the Pacers leading by as many as five, and the Raptors holding a lead as large as four.
Hibbert hit a turnaround jumper with less than three minutes to go in the half, making it 46-41, but the Raptors answered with seven of the last nine points to tie the game at 48 at the half.
With Indiana in front 53-52 early in the third quarter, the Raptors ripped off a 12-0 run to build an 11-point lead with 6:12 left in the quarter.
The Pacers answered with a 10-3 spurt, capped by a Tyler Hansbrough jumper with 1:14 left to cut the deficit to 67-63. Ed Davis finished the quarter with back-to-back buckets for the Raptors, widening the lead to 71-63 heading to the fourth.
A trey by Calderon with 5:58 left in the fourth gave the Raptors a seemingly comfortable 10-point advantage.Game Notes
The Pacers played without forward Danny Granger, who is out indefinitely with
knee soreness ... Lowry was acquired for guard-forward Gary Forbes and a
first-round draft selection ... Indiana shot 47.4 percent from the field,
while Toronto shot just 36.3 percent from the floor ... The Pacers
outrebounded Toronto, 46-42 and shot just 11-of-16 at the free throw line.