Fred VanVleet-led Raptors look to take down Pacers once again

NBA Basketball

The Toronto Raptors look to defeat the Indiana Pacers for the second time in four days when they open a three-game road trip in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Fred VanVleet scored 26 points and OG Anunoby added 25 in the Raptors’ 118-100 victory over the Pacers on Wednesday in Toronto. The two combined to make 19 of 39 shots from the field, including 10 of 17 shots from 3-point range.

VanVleet and Anunoby struggled to heat up in a 110-109 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday. They combined to make just 4 of 20 shots from the floor through the first three quarters — including 1 of 12 from 3-point range — before finding their target in the fourth.

VanVleet scored 16 of his 19 points in the fourth and Anunoby recorded 10 of his 16 points in the final quarter for the Raptors.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points on Friday, however his biggest play came in the final possession of the game as he stripped Orlando’s Cole Anthony to seal the victory. That play was just another example of Trent stepping up when it matters most.

“He’s taken that challenge,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of Trent, per the Toronto Star.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t know if he had that, physically or mentally. We didn’t know him that well, even though we had him for a good chunk of last season. I guess you couldn’t evaluate anything last year. Glad to see he’s taken it.”

Rookie Scottie Barnes scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half and finished with nine rebounds on Friday. He had 18 points and seven assists in the previous encounter versus the Pacers.

Barnes joined Damon Stoudamire as the lone players in Raptors history to score 100 points in their first six career NBA games. Stoudamire was named the NBA Rookie of the Year that season (1995-96).

Indiana committed 23 turnovers in the previous meeting versus Toronto. On Friday, the Pacers squandered a 16-point lead in a 105-98 setback to the Brooklyn Nets.

Reserve Torrey Craig recorded a career-high 28 points to go along with 11 rebounds versus the Nets. Rookie Chris Duarte finished with 19 points and Domantas Sabonis added 16 in a losing effort.

Sabonis struggled mightily in the previous encounter with Toronto, however. He finished with a season-low nine points.

“We have plenty to win games, but the margins are slim,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’re going to have to stick together and play together.”

Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon scored 18 points against the Raptors before exiting in the third quarter with a left hamstring injury. He did not return to that game and sat out Friday’s tilt versus Brooklyn.

“We’re up against it with our injury situation. We’ve just got to stay in the fight,” Carlisle said.

Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, who is working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery, will travel with the team on the road trip.

Yuta Watanabe sustained a setback in his rehab from a left calf strain this week, Nurse said Friday.

–Field Level Media

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