Raptors-Pacers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 13, 2012
Less than two weeks ago, the Indiana Pacers opened 2012-13 by beating the Toronto Raptors in the waning seconds. The matchups aren't usually that close in Indianapolis. Paul George looks to follow up his best performance of the young season Tuesday night by helping the Pacers extend their home winning streak over the Raptors to eight games. Indiana (3-4) has won four in a row overall versus Toronto (1-6) after George Hill scored the decisive basket with two seconds left in a 90-88 road win Oct. 31. The Pacers have won 24 of 31 all-time home meetings, including seven in a row while averaging 115.3 points and shooting 49.4 percent from the field. George is making 49.2 percent of his shots to average 13.8 points with 7.0 rebounds in six career games against the Raptors, totaling 14 and 15, respectively, at Toronto. The swingman enters this meeting coming off a season-high 20 points with seven rebounds and three assists in Saturday's 89-85 win over Washington. George has failed to get back-to-back 20-point games over his previous nine attempts in two seasons, averaging 9.9 points in those subsequent contests. He may have a better chance at avoiding a similar fate after adjusting his pregame ritual following a talk with coaches. George made 8 of 12 shots from the field against the Wizards after making 39.2 percent over the first six games. "Been frustrated all season long," said George, who hit the gym early for additional weightlifting and shooting Saturday. "Shots not going down. I had to switch something up. "That's something that sticks out, when someone tells you need to be more efficient." Despite ending a three-game slide against the Wizards, the Pacers are still adjusting without Danny Granger, who is sidelined three months due to a knee injury. He's led the team in scoring in each of the last five seasons. Indiana ranks near the bottom of the NBA with 90.4 points per game. "We're in a figure things out kind of mode," coach Frank Vogel said. Hill is hoping another meeting with the Raptors can get him untracked after being limited to eight points by Washington following a total of 49 over the previous two games. The guard is averaging 18.0 points in three home matchups versus Toronto. The Raptors are allowing an average of 108.0 points while losing all three of their road games so far. Their overall slide reached four games Monday, when they squandered an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead and lost 140-133 in triple-overtime to visiting Utah. "It didn't go our way but our guys fought," coach Dwane Casey said. "Anyone who says we didn't fight did not see that basketball game. It just did not go our way." DeMar DeRozan leads Toronto with 20.7 points per game, and he's looking to build on his career high-tying 37 from Monday. The swingman has averaged 12.6 points over nine meetings with Indiana. Jose Calderon, who had 20 points and 17 assists against the Jazz, scored eight points and dished out 14 assists in a 103-98 loss in the most recent visit to Indianapolis on April 9.
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