At the Buzzer: R1 G6 — Pacers 101, Raptors 83

Pacers rookie Myles Turner was fired up after winning Friday to force a Game 7. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

Pacers rookie Myles Turner was fired up after winning Friday to force a Game 7. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

This one is going the distance. The Pacers were slow out of the gates but once they hit their stride, they easily breezed past the Toronto Raptors. In front of nearly 18,165 fans dressed in gold t-shirts that read “United State of Basketball,” the Pacers earned a trip back across the border to make up for their fourth-quarter collapse in Game 5.

With a balanced attacked, the Pacers took Game 6 101-83 to even the series at 3-3.

And thus, there will be one more battle…


How it happened: The Raptors came out fired up and went ahead early. The Pacers, meanwhile, took time to get in a rhythm. They missed 12 of their first 14 shots and fell behind by double digits. Paul George missed all four of his shots in the first and didn’t score until the final minute of the quarter …  at the free throw line. Solomon Hill connecting on two 3-pointers was an added bonus. The Pacers used a 9-0 spurt to end the period, which made it just a two-point game.

During his normal rest period, George remained on the floor to begin the second quarter. But he wasn’t going to play all 48 minutes. Later in the quarter, he sat for almost five minutes and during that time, the bench was plus-five. The game was later knotted at 30, but then the Raptors ran off 10 of the next 12 points. Eight Pacers scored in the first half as trailed 44-40 at intermission.

The Pacers took their first lead minutes into the second half via a 7-2 spurt and they’d later get to the penalty with 6:51 left in the stanza. They finished the quarter plus-11 to head into the fourth ahead by seven points.

Then, they put this one away early by scoring 12 straight to open the final frame. They led by as many as 28 points and that allowed the starters to sit with more than three minutes left.

[Pacers move past memorable loss and now are 48 minutes away from clinching the series]

What it means: One more game. The Pacers have forced a decisive Game 7 — to be played on Sunday. They are 3-4 all-time in Game 7s.

Turning point: It was 65-64 Pacers with 1:49 left in the third quarter. Spanning the end of that period (6-0) and the start of the fourth (12-0), the Pacers scored 18 straight points to blow this game open. The Raptors were scoreless for nearly seven minutes.

Star of the game: “Everyone else.” The Pacers showed that if they are going to win the series, they need several guys contribute. All five Pacers starters finished in double figures, led by Paul George’s 21 points to lead all scorers. And their bench doesn’t need to outscore the Raptors’, but it needs to maintain. Raptors’ bench 31, Pacers’ 27.

[VIDEO: Rodney Stuckey completely fakes out Corey Joseph]

Streaking: The Pacers are 3-0 in the series when reaching the century mark, 0-3 when failing to do so.

Stat(s) of note: Paul George shot a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line in Game 6. For the series, he is shooting 94.8 percent (55-for-58) at the line. In franchise history, George has made the most free throws (55) in a series.

What’s next: Game 7 at the Air Canada Centre will be on Sunday at 8:00 pm ET and air nationally on TNT. [Click here for the full schedule]

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