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Mathurin, Hield lead hot Pacers past Raptors122-114

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bennedict Mathurin scored 21 points and Buddy Hield added 19 to lead the Indiana Pacers to their fourth straight win in a 122-114 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bennedict Mathurin scored 21 points and Buddy Hield added 19 to lead the Indiana Pacers to their fourth straight win in a 122-114 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

Myles Turner had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Tyrese Haliburton added 16 points and eight assists for the Pacers.

Gary Trent Jr. had 32 points and Pascal Siakam had 26 for Toronto. Scottie Barnes added 23.

Indiana’s bench surpassed Toronto’s reserves 54-7. The second unit included Mathurin, TJ McConnell (15 points) and Jalen Smith (11 points and 11 rebounds).

“Their starters are a tough matchup for anyone in this league,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said of the Raptors. “They were tough at the beginning of every half. Our second unit came and gave us what we needed – power, energy, attack, altruistic play. They made the difference throughout the game.”

Carlisle had particular praise for McConnell, who hit a career-high seven free throws in seven attempts.

“TJ McConnell is a once-a-decade player,” Carlisle said. “You don’t find guys like that who have boundless energy and irrepressible spirit who can lift the entire building with a defining loose ball game. His minutes were a little shorter. But he gets everything out of the minutes.”

McConnell said defense is the difference.

“We snapped in and made stops and did what we do best — that is, get out and run,” McConnell said. “We moved the ball and I thought we did it at a high level. Things kind of slowed down. (Mathurin) really saved us as he has done all year. It was something special to watch.”

Mathurin went 6-on-9 from the field and 7-on-10 on free throws.

“It was amazing how difficult some of those shots were,” Carlisle said.

The Pacers, shooting 45 percent from the field, had a 50-36 advantage in rebounds.

“When you play Toronto, it’s always a possession game,” Carlisle said. “They come and come. You have to outlast them.”

With a 101-101 tie in the fourth quarter, Haliburton sank a three-pointer to give the Pacers a definitive lead.

Toronto used a 20-2 run in the third period to take an 83-75 lead. While the Raptors led 83-77 in the quarter with 3:25 left, OG Anunoby was called out for a technical foul after shoving Mathurin.

Mathurin missed the technical free throw but had six points, including a step-back three-pointer, for the remainder of the quarter to help the Pacers take a 91-90 lead after three points.

“I’m trying to go with the flow,” Mathurin said. “I had a couple of opportunities and went to the edge and got fouled a lot. I tried to fight my way through my defence.”

Toronto led by 13 in the first quarter before settling for a 33-29 advantage after a quarter.

The Pacers were trailing 47:42 in the first half and had 7:26 to go. For the rest of the half, the Pacers beat the Raptors 24-10 and took a 66-57 lead at halftime.

TIP INS

Raptors: Precious Achiuwa was playing his first game since injuring his right ankle against Miami on Nov. 9. Achiuwa scored three points in 12 minutes. … Fred VanVleet started after missing two games with back spams. VanVleet scored nine points on 3-of-15 shooting.

Pacers: Indiana is 13-7 at home. The Pacers had won home records in 31 straight seasons in 2021. … Hield hit four 3-pointers and has scored four or more in six straight games. … Chris Duarte went down in pain in the fourth quarter and went to the dressing room. He held his left ankle. He was absent six weeks earlier this season with a sprained left ankle. Carlisle said he was told Duarte could have gone back inside if necessary.

NEXT

Raptors: host the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

Pacers: Visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Mark Ambrogi, The Associated Press















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