The Toronto Raptors won for the fourth time in five games Tuesday, beating the Pacers in Indianapolis, 104-91.
“We just need to get back on a great foot,” Raptors forward Patrick Patterson said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I think tonight was a great win, and hopefully we can keep a solid win streak going for us.”
Toronto (30-15) started the year 24-7 before hitting a rough stretch and dropping seven of nine. The Raptors, however, seem to have found their footing and trail Washington (31-15) by just a half game for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta (37-8), which has won 16 straight games, appears to be a lock for the No. 1 seed.
“Atlanta is an exceptionally great basketball team,” Patterson said. “They’ve been playing real well. Right now for us, it’s all about taking it one game at a time and focusing on what we can control.”
The Raptors certainly controlled the Pacers on Tuesday, outscoring them 83-63 over the final three quarters. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined for 43 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals.
“Their ability to move the ball – not only pass and share the ball and keep the game moving and keep the game in our hands, but also scoring (is really big for us),” Patterson said. “Kyle, he’s our leader. He’s our general. His ability to start off the game to make sure everyone’s involved, and then him finding DeMar, and DeMar will get his touches throughout the game, and then Kyle being able to turn that switch on (at) the offensive end and hit some shots for us as the game went on (helps a lot). So it was just a great game, a great job from those two throughout the course of those 48 minutes tonight.”
Toronto placed five scorers in double figures, including three of the bench: Louis Williams (14 points), Patterson (13) and Terrence Ross (11). Patterson also had three rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
“It’s all about lifting each other up,” Patterson said. “The first unit goes in and does their job. And for us as a second unit, we want to keep the momentum going. We want to get a change of pace and push the ball in transition and establish Lou out there as much as possible. And for myself, just bring energy, great communication and take advantage of all my opportunities. So for us on the second unit, I thought we did a good job as far as changing the pace of the game and (swinging) the ball in our direction.”
Toronto limited Indiana to 41.5 percent shooting from the floor, as C.J. Watson and George Hill combined to shoot just 8-of-25 (32 percent).
“That’s something that we’ve been gradually trying to get better at as far as getting better on the defensive end,” Patterson said. “Just communication, the will and rebounding, just talking out there – whether it’s helping each other or whether it’s communicating in transition and finishing plays – (we’re just trying to get better). So I thought we overall did a good job on that.”
Toronto hosts Sacramento (16-27) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.