National Basketball Association
Indiana at Toronto
When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, May 1, 2016
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
All the pressure is on the second-seeded Toronto Raptors when they host
the Indiana Pacers on Sunday in the finale of the best-of-7 Eastern
Conference first-round series. Toronto hasn't won a postseason series
since 2001 - the longest drought in the NBA - and is being severely
tested by a seventh-seed team that won 11 fewer regular-season games.
Indiana remained alive with a solid 101-83 victory in Game 6 to even the series and Raptors All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan doesn't need to be reminded what a Game 7 home loss will mean. "The season would be a failure if we don't get out of the first round and give ourselves a chance to play in the second round," DeRozan told reporters. "We understand that." DeRozan scored just eight points on Friday for the second time in three games and the shaky performances from him and point guard Kyle Lowry - the first player to shoot below 40 percent in each of the first six games of the postseason - have the Pacers on the brink of pulling off the improbable series victory. "I believe we can play with this team," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said after Game 6. "We have great respect for them, but I really believe we're hitting our stride at the right time and playing our best basketball of the season when it matters." TV:
8 p.m. ET, TNT, Sportsnet (Toronto)ABOUT THE PACERS:
All five Indiana starters scored 12 or more points in Game 6 as the team gave All-Star forward Paul George some much-needed support. George has been carrying the team by averaging 27.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals in the series and he had 21 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in Friday's victory. "We just had a fight in us," George told reporters. "As a group, collectively, we knew that this could be the end of our season. We just did a great job of battling."ABOUT THE RAPTORS:
DeRozan is averaging 15.8 points and shooting 32.1 percent from the field, while Lowry is faring even worse at 14.3 points and 31 percent. Forward Patrick Patterson, who is shooting 31 percent over the past four games after starting off the series by making 9-of-11 shots, said the Raptors need to take a long at themselves in the mirror. "Do we want to be the team that won 56 games? Do we want to be the team that got two All-Stars to the All-Star Game, set new records, went on long winning streaks and played great defense in the first half of the season?" Patterson rhetorically asked reporters. "Or do we want to be the team that has come into Indiana the past two times and got blown out of the water? We have to decide what we want to be."BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Pacers are vying to become the sixth No. 7 seed to beat a No. 2 seed since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams for the 1983-84 season.
2. Toronto backup PG Cory Joseph scored 15 points in Game 6 and is averaging 11.2 points and shooting 60.5 percent from the field in the series.
3. Indiana rookie PF Myles Turner had 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots in Game 6 and has 19 rejections in the series.PREDICTION:
Pacers 104, Raptors 102
Stats and Records