Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Sunday, November 4th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 19th
Game 3: Sunday, April 7th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 10th

Pacers 84

(37-39, 15-24 away)

Raptors 94

(38-38, 20-17 home)

    5:30 PM ET, April 7, 2002

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 22 23 21 1884
    TOR 21 25 21 2794

    Top Performers

    Ind: R. Miller 26 Pts, 1 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Tor: A. Williams 26 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl

    Williams sparks Raptors' eighth straight victory

    Antonio Davis

    Alvin Williams

    TORONTO -- Somehow, the Toronto Raptors look unbeatable even without Vince Carter.

    Alvin Williams scored 26 points, and Antonio Davis added 21 as the surging Raptors moved into playoff position with a 94-84 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

    The Raptors, on a remarkable roll since losing Carter to a season-ending knee injury, set a franchise record with their eighth straight win after losing 17 of 18 games.

    "This is amazing," said Davis, who also grabbed 10 rebounds. "We've come such a long way in such a short period of time. This is such a great feeling because it would have been easy to give up."

    Toronto pulled a game ahead of the Pacers in the race for the eighth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have six games remaining, including Wednesday's rematch at Indiana.

    "We still have a long way to go and a lot of work ahead," Davis said. "These guys are believing in each other, and that makes the biggest difference in the world. It's not just one guy, everybody is doing it."

    Keon Clark had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who have beaten Indiana seven times in a row dating to last season.

    Reggie Miller led the Pacers with 26 points. Jermaine O'Neal scored 24, and Brad Miller added 15 points and eight rebounds.

    Toronto is just a game behind Milwaukee for seventh place and two back of sixth-place Philadelphia.

    The Raptors lead the four-game season series with Indiana 3-0, so if the teams are tied at the end of the regular season, Toronto would win the tiebreaker.

    "We have to go home and regroup," dejected Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said. "We have to make sure one loss doesn't totally demoralize us."

    Chris Childs had nine points and eight assists for the Raptors, who have yet to lose since Carter's season ended with arthroscopic knee surgery on March 26.

    An 8-0 Raptors run midway through the fourth quarter helped give them their fourth straight win at home.

    After Davis' two free throws gave the Raptors an 82-81 lead with 3:01 left, O'Neal missed a jumper and Clark grabbed the rebound.

    Going the other way, Williams hit a 3-pointer as the crowd cheered and Toronto took an 85-81 lead. After Clark caused an Indiana turnover, Childs beat the shot clock with a 3.

    "Alvin came up with a big game," said Morris Peterson, who has led the Raptors with 18 points per game in Carter's absence but had just nine on Sunday. "They seemed to key on me and that opened it for Alvin."

    Miller hit a couple of big 3-pointers of his own in the fourth, but Toronto responded both times.

    Miller made an off-balance 3 to tie it at 73 a minute into the fourth, then gave Indiana a 75-73 lead with 6:26 left on a pair of free throws.

    His second 3-pointer was from the corner over Childs' outstretched arms to give Indiana its last lead, 81-78.

    "Nobody put their head down," Clark said. "Maybe earlier in the season we would have, but we knew what we had to do."

    Davis' monster dunk with 51 seconds left gave the Raptors a 90-82 lead and put the game away.

    The Pacers got some crisp shooting in the first half from Jonathan Bender, who nailed a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 45-40 lead with 1:28 to go. Bender scored all eight of his points in the first half.

    The Raptors closed the half on a strong note when Williams stripped the ball from Bender a minute later and made two free throws. Davis also hit a pair of foul shots with 5 seconds left to give Toronto a 46-45 advantage at the half.

    The Raptors outrebounded the Pacers 45-26. Indiana shot 64 percent (14-for-22) from the foul line.

    "We played great defense and our bench was awesome," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "I told them, don't let anyone walk in and make a basket. If you're going to foul them make sure they don't make the shot."

    Game notes

    The Raptors' previous seven-game winning streak was Feb. 27 to March 8, 2000. ... Indiana plays host to Cleveland on Monday before facing Toronto on Wednesday. Toronto plays host to Charlotte on Tuesday. ... Indiana's Ron Artest got a big cheer from the crowd in the third when the Pacers were about to be called for an over-and-back, but instead of touching the ball he punted it into the crowd, drawing a technical foul. ... Indiana had 10 turnovers to Toronto's two in the first half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 84 94
    FGM-FGA 31-65 (.477) 34-81 (.420)
    3PM-3PA 8-13 (.615) 4-11 (.364)
    FTM-FTA 14-22 (.636) 22-24 (.917)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-26 19-45
    Assists 23 19
    Turnovers 17 13
    Steals 8 8
    Blocks 3 2
    Fast Break Points 6 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (2/0) 19 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Reggie Miller Miller
    Points: 26
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Alvin Williams Williams
    Points: 26
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0