INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The first game of the post-Vince Carter era
in Toronto bore a strong resemblance to the rest of the Raptors'
Jamaal Tinsley scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half to
lead the Indiana Pacers to an 89-86 victory over the Raptors, who
traded the five-time All Star to New Jersey earlier Friday.
"It's sickening," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "It's the
same old thing. We get beat on the boards, points in the paint.
What do you say?"
Rookie center David Harrison added a career-high 22 points and
had seven rebounds, and Jeff Foster had 10 points and 18 rebounds
for the Pacers, who won their second straight after a seven-game
Reggie Miller sealed the win when he hit a jumper from the
corner while falling out of bounds as the shot clock expired for an
89-86 lead with 8.6 seconds left.
When asked if he expects to make those kinds of shots, Miller
said, "Yes. That's what they pay me for. At this stage of my
career, I don't have to do a lot, but there are some things that
are demanded of me, and that's to hit big shots."
Jalen Rose did his best to replace Carter, scoring 23 points,
but it wasn't enough against Indiana, which trailed by as many as
13 in the first half before Tinsley led the comeback.
Carter has defined the Raptors for the last six-plus seasons,
breathing life into a moribund franchise with his high-flying dunks
and remarkable athleticism.
Against the Pacers, Rose took over the scoring load for Carter,
who averaged 23.8 points in his career. Rose made 9 of 17 shots and
scored six points in the last four minutes of a wild final period.
"That's my game anyway," said Rose, who openly wondered if he
would be the next high-priced Raptors player to hit the road. "If
I'm not being aggressive and not exploiting mismatches, I'm not
being myself. That's a burden I carried while he was here and I'm
going to do whatever I'm asked to do."
With Indiana trailing 78-72 in the fourth, Tinsley knocked down
a 3-pointer and two layups, pounding his chest after being fouled
on the last one. Foster tipped in Tinsley's missed free throw for
an 83-80 lead with 3:28 to play.
But Rose and the Raptors refused to go away.
He hit two jumpers, then two free throws with 34 seconds to play
that cut Indiana's lead to 87-86.
The Raptors appeared to be in good shape with the Pacers
inbounding the ball with just 1 second to shoot. But as he has done
so often, Miller came up with the clutch basket. Rose's desperation
3-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer.
"It had to be a quick-hitter," Miller said of his buzzer
beater. "We just put the play in yesterday."
Miller provided the dramatics, but it was Tinsley who shrugged
off a sprained right ankle and a poor first half to become nearly
unstoppable down the stretch.
After shooting just 2-for-8 and getting a technical foul for
arguing with officials in the first half, Tinsley scored seven of
the Pacers' first nine points of the third quarter to help them
take a 54-52 lead and set up a back-and-forth final 20 minutes.
"It was really essential he was able to play," Pacers coach
Rick Carlisle said. "He probably shouldn't have been out there.
The fact that he hangs in gives our team strength."
Rose scored 15 points in the first half on 6-of-10 shooting, and
Chris Bosh added 13 points for Toronto, which was outrebounded
48-34 and outscored in the paint 46-28.
"We were just bigger than that team," Harrison said. "We just
tried to take advantage of that."
Rose penned the initials "VC" on his shoes in homage to
Carter. ... To make room for the new players, the Raptors waived F
Jerome Moiso and placed rookie forwards Rafael Araujo and Pape Sow
on the injured list. ... Pacers F Austin Croshere missed his second
straight game with a sprained left ankle.