Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/30

Game 1: Friday, December 30th
Game 2: Sunday, March 12th
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5th
Game 4: Monday, April 17th

Raptors 103

(26-49, 12-25 away)

Pacers 111

(36-38, 23-14 home)

    Coverage: FSMW

    7:00 PM ET, April 5, 2006

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 21 29 31 22103
    IND 29 25 32 25111

    Top Performers

    Toronto: M. James 34 Pts, 11 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Indiana: P. Stojakovic 25 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Stojakovic, Jackson lead Pacers past Raptors

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Even in a victory, the Indiana Pacers are struggling to hold big leads.

    Peja Stojakovic and Stephen Jackson scored 25 points each as Indiana snapped a five-game losing streak with a 111-103 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

    "It does feel good to win, but we showed some signs of giving this one up," he said of the Pacers, who led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter but saw the lead slip to one in the fourth period.

    "We've got to get to the point when we get a big lead, we feel confident and finish them off," Jackson said. "We're not going to be a great team until we can do that."

    The Pacers held the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race and closed to within a half game of sixth-place Milwaukee (37-38), which lost to Orlando.

    Indiana is a game and a half ahead of Chicago (35-40), which knocked Philadelphia (34-40) two games behind the Pacers by beating the Sixers on Wednesday.

    Jermaine O'Neal scored 18 points for the Pacers and Anthony Johnson added 16.

    Mike James scored 34 points and had 11 rebounds for Toronto, which lost its sixth straight game. He also had eight assists, just missing the first triple-double of his career.

    Toronto and the Pacers each hit 33 field goals, but Indiana made a season-high 36-of-45 from the free-throw line. Toronto went 18-of-22 at the line.

    "We were just aggressive driving on them," Jackson said. "They've got some good scorers. We just had to keep going at them."

    James said the Pacers had the right idea.

    "We did not move our feet very well all night," he said. "We just seem like we are a step slow. We were allowing them to get to the rim constantly, and it's tough to win when you're doing that."

    Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said his players simply fouled too much.

    "I guess it's just us being young guys," he said. "Part of our defense has to be not fouling 30 feet from the basket and committing silly fouls."

    Matt Bonner, who came off the bench to score 14 points, hit a jumper to cut the Raptors' double-digit deficit to 95-94 in the fourth quarter. But the Pacers outscored the Raptors 16-9 the rest of the way.

    "You've go to keep playing and stay the course," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said after his team beat Toronto for the first time in three games. "We're in the midst of the playoff picture, and we'll have to win our way in. We're not going to back in."

    Stojakovic and Jackson scored four points each as the Pacers opened the game with a 12-2 run. They never trailed, though the Raptors made several runs.

    James hit two baskets and a free throw as Toronto cut the lead to 22-17 late in the first period. A 7-3 run by Toronto early in the second quarter trimmed the deficit to 34-30, and James hit a 3-pointer as the Raptors drew to 41-38 with 5:37 left before the half.

    Indiana regained a 10-point lead, but the Raptors scored the last six points of the half to trail 54-50.

    Game notes

    The starting lineup of Stojakovic, O'Neal, Jackson, Johnson and Jeff Foster was the 30th combination used by Carlisle this season, equaling the team record set last year. ... Foster, who had 12 rebounds, is averaging 11.8 rebounds in his last 16 games. He has had at least nine rebounds in 10 of his last 11 games. ... Toronto All-Star Chris Bosh is out for the remainder of the season with a sprained left thumb. ... Pacers guard Fred Jones missed his second straight game with a torn ligament in his left thumb.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 103 111
    FGM-FGA 38-93 (.409) 33-82 (.402)
    3PM-3PA 9-22 (.409) 9-23 (.391)
    FTM-FTA 18-22 (.818) 36-45 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-52 10-46
    Assists 19 21
    Turnovers 15 8
    Steals 2 5
    Blocks 3 10
    Fast Break Points 11 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 33 (0/0) 19 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 0 15

    Top Performers

    Mike James James
    Points: 34
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
    Points: 25
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0