Pascal Siakam helps Pacers beat Raptors 127-125 in return to Toronto


Pascal Siakam scored 23 points to lead the Indiana Pacers past the Raptors 127-125 on Wednesday in their return to Toronto.

Siakam also had seven assists and five rebounds for Indiana (31-25) since being traded from the Raptors on Jan. 17.

Siakam spent the first eight years of his professional career in Toronto and was a key part of their 2019 championship team.

Tyrese Haliburton and Isaiah Jackson each had a double-double for the Pacers. Haliburton scored 21 points and added 12 assists, and Jackson added 15 points with 11 rebounds.

Andrew Nembhard of Aurora, Ont., scored 14 points, five assists and three rebounds.

Scottie Barnes had a double-double with 29 points and 12 rebounds for Toronto (19-36). RJ Barrett of Mississauga, Ont., had 23 points and nine rebounds.

Every time Siakam appeared on the Scotiabank Arena video monitors during the singing of the national anthems, a sold-out crowd of 19,800 cheered. He was also the last player announced during the Pacers’ team introductions, with a lengthy video tribute to officially welcome him to the court.

Siakam was standing near center court when the lights came back on, placing his hand over his heart and then extending his arms to thank the crowd.

Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said before the game that he knew the ceremony would be emotional for Siakam.

“These types of situations are memorable and we have to help them get through them,” Carlisle said. “There’s a lot of love that’s going to come to him with whatever they’re doing before the game and then we’ll try to get him ready to play.”

Siakam was 0-for-4 on field goal attempts to start the game, so Carlisle sat him after five minutes of play. Toronto built an 11-point lead, but Indiana got them back on a Siakam jumper that cut the Raptors’ lead to 35-31 after one quarter.

Bruce Brown made two thunderous dunks in the second quarter as Toronto maintained its lead. Doug McDermott hit a 23-foot 3-pointer as the Pacers cut the Raptors’ lead to 71-65 heading into intermission.

Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith took a hard fall on a dunk attempt and team personnel had to help him off the court and into the locker room just 54 seconds into the third quarter.

His injury didn’t seem to faze Indiana, however, as they went on a 9-2 run to take their first lead of the game. Siakam scored seven of those points, with his nine-foot jumper with 9:24 left in the period putting the Pacers ahead for the first time all night.

After trading the lead for several minutes, Toronto went ahead on a 10-0 run, with rookie Gradey Dick contributing five points to the rally.

Indiana forward Obi Toppin drove to the basket and got the and-1 for three points, then got TJ McConnell’s alley-oop on the next possession for an easy layup that put the Raptors up 103-101 heading into the game. last room.

The two teams stayed neck and neck throughout the quarter until Haliburton hit a 27-foot 3-pointer off an assist from Siakam for a three-point lead. Although Immanuel Quickley answered with a jumper for Toronto, Siakam came back with a 12-footer and then hit one of his two free throws to make the score 124-121.

Both teams struggled to find their rhythm after that, killing 90 seconds off the clock without scoring with 1:12 left.

Barnes hit a 22-foot jumper with a minute left, flexing as he returned to center as the fans roared. He then blocked Jackson’s attempt at a dunk, but missed his shot on the next possession.

Siakam sank an 11-foot floater with 25.1 seconds left to restore Indiana’s three-point lead.

Poeltl was fouled on the Raptors’ next possession and made both of his free throws to cut the Pacers’ lead to one. Jackson was quickly fouled when Indiana got the ball in the half, and he only made one of his two free throws with 9.6 seconds left on the clock.

Toronto called a timeout to make the most of the game’s final possession, but Barrett missed his shot in the final seconds of the game to seal Indiana’s victory.

BARNES ALL-STAR – Barnes received an all-star ball from Raptors general manager Bobby Webster before kickoff. Barnes will make his first All-Star Game appearance this week at Indiana.

NEXT: The Raptors have an eight-day break due to the NBA All-Star Game before hosting the Brooklyn Nets on February 22.

Indiana will host the Detroit Pistons on February 22.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2024.

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