Raptors Rip Pacers To Move Into Third Place

Raptors Rip Pacers To Move Into Third Place&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Toronto Raptors clearly know the same thing that everyone else in the NBA Eastern Conference does–no one is catching the Atlanta Hawks.  The Hawks are neck and neck with the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the league and are 11 games up on second place Cleveland atop the Eastern Conference standings.  The Raptors realize that their target now is second place, currently held by the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Toronto took a big step toward that goal on Monday night as they ripped the Indiana Pacers on the road winning by a final score of 117-98 behind a ‘triple double’ by Kyle Lowry.

The victory was the Raptors’ 40th of the season and moved them 1/2 game up on fourth place Chicago.  That leaves Toronto still 14 games out of first place but just two points back of the second place Cavaliers.  Louis Williams led the Raptors in scoring with 24 points while Jonas Valanciunas pulled down twelve rebounds.  George Hill led the Pacers with 23 points while David West added 9 rebounds in the losing cause.

Toronto has posted a winning record both at home and on the road so far this season.  The Raptors are 22-12 at the Air Canada Centre and 18-15 away from home.  That makes them one of only four teams in the Eastern Conference with a winning mark at home and on the road.  Toronto has been slumping of late losing 7 of their last 10 but hopefully the win at Indiana is the start of a streak of improved play.

Toronto will host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night.  The T-Wolves are 5-27 on the road this season so Toronto has no excuse not to come away with a victory.  After that they play a very important game against the fourth place Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Friday night.  The Raptors currently hold a 1/2 game lead over Chicago and with superstar guard Derrick Rose sidelined this is a perfect chance for Toronto to extend their lead.  Most of all, Toronto needs to improve their showing on the defensive end of the court.  They have no trouble scoring points ranking #5 in the league in total offense but their #22 points against ranking needs some work.

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