The Toronto Raptors set a new high water mark with their 40th win in just 67 games, the fastest in franchise history, and they did it behind All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry’s second triple-double of the season, Lou Williams offensive outburst and another Jonas Valanciunas double-double.
“I was happy to see our guys get back to playing the way we have to play,” said Head coach Dwane Casey.
Lowry scored 20 points by nailing 5 three-pointers to go with his 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals as Toronto never trailed in this game and won going away 117-98 over the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Toronto got up 21-12 midway through the first quarter and the Pacers were playing catch-up the rest of the night.
As has so often been the case this season, Toronto is virtually unbeatable when Williams is on his game and in this one, the Raptors instant offense came off the bench to score 24 points in a little under 23 minutes. His offense was important as the Pacers guards George Hill (23 points) and Rodney Stuckey (20 points) were putting on a show for the home crowd and kept this game from becoming a blowout early on.
In the battle of the big men, it was Valanciunas controlling the Pacers Roy Hibbert as Valanciunas scored 14 points on 7-10 shooting, grabbed 12 boards and blocked 2 shots to record his team leading 19th double-double. The two-time NBA All-Star Hibbert was held to 17 points on 5-13 shooting, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The Raptors have an unspoken goal of 50 wins this season and with 15 games remaining their objective is in sight. Toronto has the easiest remaining schedule in the Association with their remaining opponents winning just 40.5 percent of their games on average. Except for the Bulls home and away and the Rockets at home, all of their remaining opponents have sub-.500 records. The Raptors have never won more than 48 games in their franchise’s history.
Toronto is at home on Wednesday in the first of their two remaining meetings against the 14-52 Timberwolves.