Toronto Raptors vs Indiana Pacers: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/15/18
The hottest team in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors, go after their tenth straight win Thursday night when they face the Indiana Pacers.
Toronto (50-17) have created some separation from Boston atop both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. They are enjoying a season high in consecutive wins and have victories in 16 of their last 17 games overall after pulling away in the fourth quarter to beat Brooklyn 116-102 on the road Tuesday night.
The offense came from expected sources as the bench accounted for 50 points, paced by 15 from Fred VanVleet, and an unexpected source as center Jonas Valanciunas more than doubled his season average with 26 points. That was two off his season best, and the seven-footer pulled down 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double in six games.
Toronto also reached the 50-win mark for the third straight season after failing to do so in their first 20 seasons of existence. The Raptors need to go just 7-8 down the stretch to set a single-season club record for victories.
While the Raptors are trying to win the Atlantic Division for the fourth time in five years, the Pacers (40-28) are battling the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their first Central title since 2014 and claim the third seed in the East. Indiana have won three straight contests to take a one-half game lead over Cleveland and are coming off a 101-98 victory at Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Myles Turner scored 25 points and Thaddeus Young added 19 and ten rebounds, picking up the scoring slack as Victor Oladipo was held to 11 points on four-of-21 shooting. Indiana’s bench also provided some scoring punch as guards Lance Stephenson and Darren Collison combined for 21 points to help the Pacers move a season-high 12 games over .500.