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NBA PLAYOFFS -- Raptors survive Game 5 scare, Hawks manhandle Celtics


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Down 90-77 entering the fourth quarter, the Toronto Raptors appeared dead in the pivotal Game 5 of their series against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

But the Raptors defense came to life and held Indiana to just two points in a span of over seven minutes, sparking a torrid 18-2 run that gave Toronto a 95-92 lead with 4:15 remaining. The Pacers never tasted the lead from that point on, eventually losing a 102-99 heartbreaker.

DeMar DeRozan, who drilled the go-ahead 3, led the Raptors with 34 points. Fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry mustered 14 points and five dimes while Jonas Valanciunas hauled 11 points. Bismack Biyombo and Norman Powell finished with 10 points apiece for Toronto, which shot a mere 40.2 percent from the field (33-of-82).

It was a disappointing demise for the Pacers, who jumped to a 35-20 bulge after one quarter and were poised to steal Game 5 with a chance to clinch a Game 6 at home. Instead, they are facing elimination when they head home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday night.

Paul George topped all scorers with 39 points, but it wasn't enough as Indiana went ice cold to start the fourth quarter, shooting 1-for-7 during a stretch in which the Raptors sank 8 of 15 field goals.

HAWKS 110, Celtics 83

The Atlanta Hawks ended no drama and pounded the Boston Celtics, 110-83, in Game 5 of their series. After trailing 20-15 in the first quarter, the fourth seeded Hawks went on a 74-42 run in the second and third quarter to put fifth ranked Boston away.

The Hawks now lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and can close out Boston on the road on Game 6.

Mike Scott paced Atlanta with 17 points. Kent Bazemore and Jeff Teague each had 16 while Kyle Korver chipped in 13.

Evan Turner was the main man for the Celtics with 15. Isiaah Thomas was held to seven points. (HDS)

Photo: DeMar DeRozan stuffs 2 of his 34 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 102-99 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 of their Round 1 series.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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