Calderon leads balanced attack with 21 points as Raptors hold off Pacers 123-112
The Toronto Raptors' 21-point halftime lead came with a warning from coach Jay Triano that the Indiana Pacers could heat up at any time.
TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors' 21-point halftime lead came with a warning from coach Jay Triano that the Indiana Pacers could heat up at any time.
Triano was right, but the Raptors made sure it didn't cost them the game. Jose Calderon had a season-high 21 points as Toronto erupted for 74 first-half points, then held off repeated Indiana comeback attempts in a 123-112 victory.
Calderon finished 8-of-11 from the floor and dished out seven assists as the Raptors (7-8) used a balanced attack to subdue the Pacers (5-7). Ex-Pacers guard Jarrett Jack had 18 points, while Chris Bosh, usually Toronto's big scorer, scored 16 points with 12 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu and Andrea Bargnani added 14 points each.
Danny Granger led the Pacers with a season-best 36 points - including seven three-pointers - and added nine rebounds. He had 13 points in the third quarter, when the Pacers reduced a 21-point deficit to just eight.
Triano informed his team at the half that the Pacers had missed a lot of shots in the opening 24 minutes - shots they would normally make.
"Our defence wasn't as good (in the second half)," Triano said. "We cautioned our guys at halftime, 'They missed a bunch of shots in the first half.'
"I thought our defence was okay but they missed a bunch of shots and you know that Danny Granger is going to get going and sure enough at the beginning of the second half he got it going."
After outscoring Toronto 39-26 in the third quarter, Indiana moved to within seven points on Troy Murphy's three-pointer with 6:52 left in the fourth. The Raptors answered with a game-clinching 10-3 run capped by a Bosh dunk on an assist from Turkoglu, his seventh of the game.
Jack said the Raptors need to do a better job of focusing on defence.
"Just about everyone in this locker room can step up and give you major offensive numbers," said Jack, who added six assists. "Our focus needs to be on the other end of the floor. I think sometimes we get too tied into the offence and allow the offence to dictate how we play."
Former Raptors point guard T.J. Ford scored 16 points for the Pacers.
The 74 first-half points were the most by the Raptors in a half this season and the most they have scored in a first half since they scored 75 against the New Jersey Nets on Dec. 21, 1999.
"We played with no defensive force in the first half," Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien said. "We made it a game in the second half because we did play with force."
The way the Pacers shot their way back into contention did not surprise Jack.
"They're a team just like us who can score in bunches," Jack said. "Danny Granger obviously can really, really shoot the ball. That was the one thing I was trying to preach, these guys don't give up no matter how many points they're out."
Triano liked the work from both point guards, Calderon and Jack, and at times had them in the game at the same time.
"Both guys played extremely well," he said. "I really liked it when they were out there together. I thought they were very unselfish and shared the basketball between themselves extremely well.
"I think it is just everybody starting to know everybody a little bit. At one point they were probably thinking they were competing for positions and now they realize they can play together on the floor as well as give each other relief."
Notes: Reserve centre Rasho Nesterovic, who also spent last season with Indiana, scored 10 points in the first half and finished with 12. ... The Raptors fell short of their franchise record for points in a first half - 79, set in 1997 against New Jersey. ... The Raptors are on the road for their next two games, Wednesday in Charlotte and Friday in Boston before returning home to play Phoenix on Sunday. That will end a stretch of 18 games in 34 days for Toronto. ... Antoine Wright (ankle) and Marco Belinelli (groin) returned after missing Sunday's loss to Orlando. Belinelli had 11 points and Wright finished with three.