Pistons vs. Raptors: One last-ditch effort for a playoff push

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The second quarter began pretty much like the first, the Raptors imposing their will on both ends, running the floor and playing unselfish basketball. We got a reminder of that Tuesday, when Lance Stephenson upset the Raptors at the end of the Pacers' 108-90 win.

So what the heck happened? DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 27 points. However, if you thought blowing a double-digit lead was bad enough, well, Lance Stephenson made sure the Raptors would never forget it. In the last meeting, March 17 at The Palace, the Raptors held the Pistons to three points in the last nine minutes and pulled away to an 87-75 victory.

Stephenson was a second-round pick for IN in 2010 and played four seasons with the Pacers. For that matter, Atlanta should be in unless they lose every game the rest of the way.

Once the two sides were separated, DeRozan, Tucker and Stephenson all received technical fouls and the final seconds of the game were played out. The Toronto Raptors have won three straight road games. The Raptor's flawless 4-0 record after lopsided games on back-to-backs, or the heavy minute totals from their core players last night? However, don't order refreshments for your playoff viewing just yet. While that might be true, Lance is Lance just like his team captain said and that's what makes him a fun watch whenever he's on the court. "Tonight was just one of those games where we started off good and sustained it throughout the course of the game".

Stephenson scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, not only dancing his way to three assists and a pair of rebounds, but hitting a pair of huge three pointers, including the final dagger with 94 seconds left. "Very excited, first game back home and I wanted to do it for the fans".

The Indiana Pacers need a win here to remain in a tight Eastern Conference playoff race.


Five players are averaging at least 10.8 points per game for the Pacers, they are: George (23.2), Jeff Teague (15.3), Myles Turner (14.4), CJ Miles (11.0) and Thaddeus Young (10.8).

"I think he was caught up in the game".

"I'll take fault in passing it to him because I knew he was going to lay it up", (Paul) George said of Stephenson.

But despite the Pacers' double-digit lead, there was still plenty of drama in the closing seconds.

If the Pacers move to go back to a member of their glory days they're a few years removed from was an act of desperation as some noted, it's because the team should be desperate to add a player with the ability to give a crap.

Paul George went off for a 35 point, 10 rebound double-double, but the entire team just played with the energy and effort that they seemed to lack at times this season.

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