White-knuckle finish goes Raptors' way in Game 5 win over Pacers

DeMar DeRozan finally produced the kind of performance that earned him NBA all-star honours — the result was a crucial Game 5 victory for the Toronto Raptors.

DeRozan poured in 34 points to lift the Raptors 102-99 over the Indiana Pacers, giving Toronto a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series.

Kyle Lowry had 14 points, while Bismack Biyombo had 11 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, including seven in the fourth quarter. Jonas Valanciunas chipped in with 11 points, while Norman Powell had 10.

Paul George led Indiana with 39 points.

DeRozan, who had struggled for three of the four previous games, was superb, hitting 10-for-22 in a nailbiter that saw Toronto trail through three quarters, including an early 17-point deficit.

Trailing 90-77 heading into the fourth, the Raptors buckled down on defence and finally found a rhythm on the offensive end. When Powell pounced on a Pacers turnover and finished with a thunderous dunk to even it up at 92-92 with 6:31 to play, the Air Canada Centre crowd went nuts.

Toronto took a six-point lead on a three by Cory Joseph with 3:26 to play. A bucket by Myles Turner with just over a minute to play made it a four-point game, then Solomon Hill nailed a three to cut it to one.

DeRozan's final pair of free throws sealed the victory after a Hill three-pointer was ruled to come after the final buzzer.

The sold-out ACC crowd was a sea of red and white, and included Drake — who stood on his feet, hollering at opposing players for the final few minutes — plus Toronto FC players Jozy Altidore and Jonathan Osorio, and two-time Olympic bobsled champ Kaillie Humphries.

Game 6 goes Friday in Indianapolis.

Toronto won Games 2 and 3, while Indy took Games 1 and 4.

For all the pre-game talk about coming out aggressive, it was the Pacers who grabbed control, pouring in seven three-pointers to take an early 17-point lead, prompting boos from the crowd. Indiana led 35-20 heading into the second.

With George on the bench to start the second, the Raptors went on a 9-0 run to pull to within three. But the Pacers replied, and a three-point play by George Hill to end the frame sent the Raptors into halftime trailing 61-52.

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