Down 13 entering the fourth-quarter in Game 5, the Toronto Raptors torched the Indiana Pacers by going on an impressive 21-2 run to take control late in the game. The Raptors outscored the Pacers 25-9 in the fourth-quarter to win the game by three points with the final score being 102-99.
Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan finally broke-out in this series, scoring a team-high 34 points. DeRozan has been struggling in this series, shooting only 29.6 percent before entering Game 5.
For the Pacers, it was none other than Paul George who came up big with yet another 30-point performance, scoring 39 points. Now down 3-2 in the series, the Pacers will need another strong game from George to tie the series and send it back to Toronto for Game 7.
Looking forward to Game 6, the Raptors will look to clinch a second-round berth for the first time since 2001. From a playoff statistical standpoint, the winner of Game 5's in a best-of-seven series would go onto win 85 percent of the time. However, the Raptors are treating Game 6 as a Game 7.
"We gotta treat this like a Game 7," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said to reporters after the team's practice. "We know their backs are against the wall and we can't get ambushed."
The Raptors point guard, Kyle Lowry has been fairly absent in this series but expects to come out strong in Game 6.
"We know how hard it's gonna be but we're going to go in there and play and be the more assertive team," Lowry said following the team's practice. "We just got to go out there and be physical and fight for every inch on the floor."
For the Pacers end, forward Solomon Hill who hit a three-point shot just after the buzzer at the end of the fourth quarter, says they can beat the Raptors.
"We believe that we can beat this team," Hill said after Game 5. "We know it. Little things didn’t go our way, but we are going back to Indiana."
How the Pacers can Win Game 6
In order for the Pacers to take Game 6, they will need a strong outing from their supporting cast. Paul George has been putting the team on his back and doing just about everything. Guards Monta Ellis and George Hill have to back up Paul George's play. Both Ellis and Hill have been inconsistent in this series and for them to have big games, they need to come out and attack early.
Solomon Hill on the other hand is the dark horse for the Pacers, as Dwane Casey says. Solomon Hill who hasn't been much of a factor in this series needs to get it done on the defensive end. Hill needs to lockdown DeRozan for them to have any chance in winning this game.
With Paul George giving his best night in and night out and the supporting cast backing him up, the Pacers can definitely force a Game 7.
How the Raptors Can Advance to the Second Round
The Raptors need to come out of the gates strong in order to win Game 6. Almost every game in this series, the Raptors played poor in the first half games. Since Game 6 is in Indiana, the Raptors cannot afford to come out weak. The Pacers' strong home crowd took the Raptors out of their rhythm in blowout loss in Game 4.
If the Raptors have strong games from Lowry, DeRozan and center Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors should be good to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Tomorrow's Game 6 should be a good one in store. Indiana will look to stay alive while Toronto wants to end the series and not have to go to Game 7. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana.