Holiday shines as Pacers edge Raptors in OT

Agence France-Presse
Holiday shines as Pacers edge Raptors in OT
Aaron Holiday and the Pacers halt the Raptors' five-game winning streak

LOS ANGELES, USA – Aaron Holiday sunk two clutch treys in overtime as the Indiana Pacers snapped the Toronto Raptors’ five-game winning streak with a 120-115 win on Monday, December 23 (Tuesday, December 24, Philippine time). 

Myles Turner and TJ Warren also had 24 points each, and Holiday added 10 assists in the win over the injury-depleted Raptors who were coming off their biggest comeback win in franchise history.

“It’s a big win for us,” said Holiday, who finished with 19 points in getting the start at point guard for the injured Malcolm Brogdon. “It’s fun playing with emotion, especially in big games.”

Kyle Lowry had 30 points and 9 assists for the Raptors, who defeated the Dallas Mavericks after trailing by 30 points in the 3rd quarter.

“We gutted it out, we played our butts off and gave ourselves a chance to win at the end,” Lowry said of the Raptors. “Unfortunately, we came up short.”

But the Raptors, who were missing several starters, ran out of gas on Monday in front of the crowd of 17,100 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Arena in Indianapolis.

This time, Toronto was forced to come back from a 15-point deficit but could not pull out the victory. 

Domantas Sabonis scored 12 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for Indiana. Jeremy Lamb and TJ McConnell both had 12 points. Lamb missed the two previous games with a groin problem. 

Serge Ibaka had 23 points and 9 rebounds, Fred VanVleet contributed 21 points and 11 assists, and OG Anunoby scored 15 points and 12 rebounds for Toronto.

The Pacers got three-pointers from Holiday and Warren to lead by 2 points with 41 seconds remaining in regulation. Lowry’s layup tied it 107-107 with 34 seconds left. Lowry then took the final long shot of regulation but missed badly. 

Holiday’s three-pointer gave Indiana a three-point lead with just over two minutes left in overtime. He made another three-point dagger with 54 seconds left to increase the lead to 4.

This was the first meeting between the teams this season after Toronto won 2 of 3 from Indiana last season.

The Pacers beat the visiting Raptors 110-106 on January 23 in the final meeting, which saw Indiana star Victor Oladipo suffer a serious knee injury in the 2nd quarter. Oladipo has yet to play this season as he is still rehabbing that injury.

The Raptors are playing without key injured players, comprising Pascal Siakam (groin), Marc Gasol (hamstring), and Norman Powell (shoulder).

Elsewhere, Ben Simmons notched a triple-double and the Philadelphia 76ers handed the host Detroit Pistons their fifth straight loss, 125-109. 

Tobias Harris made 14 of 21 field goal attempts, including 4 three-pointers and finished with 35 points. Simmons tallied 16 points, 13 rebounds and 17 assists in the win. 

Furkan Korkmaz came off the bench to score 21 points and Joel Embiid had 20 points and 8 rebounds for the Sixers, who shot 54% from the field.

Pistons star Andre Drummond was not in the starting lineup, but he came off the bench and scored a team-high 27 points with 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

Blake Griffin shot 2-for-14 from the field and scored just 8 points in the loss as the Pistons trailed 60-52 at halftime. 

Also, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 of his season-high 40 points in the first half, while DeMar DeRozan added 26 points and 10 assists as the visiting San Antonio Spurs breezed to a 145-115 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. –

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