TORONTO (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 14 rebounds, Lou Williams scored 26 and the Toronto Raptors beat Indiana 106-94 om Friday night, handing the slumping Pacers their seventh straight loss.
James Johnson had 13 points, Patrick Patterson 11 and Grevis Vasquez scored seven of his 10 in the fourth quarter as the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors began a streak of six games against teams with losing records. Toronto is 10-1 against sub-.500 teams. Its only loss was to the Lakers 129-122 in overtime in Los Angeles on Nov. 30.
Solomon Hill scored 16, C.J. Watson and Rodney Stuckey each had 13 and David West 12 for the Pacers, whose seven-game losing streak is their longest since an eight-game skid from Dec. 18-30, 2009.
Indiana’s Luis Scola opened the fourth with a pair of free throws, bringing the Pacers to within six at 80-74. Toronto answered with a 9-0 run, including seven straight points from Vazquez, to lead 89-74 at 9:52, ending Indiana’s hopes of recording its first win since Nov. 28 against Orlando.
Trying to improve his team’s poor starts, Pacers coach Frank Vogel changed his starting lineup, inserting Watson at point guard and C.J. Miles at small forward and moving Stuckey from point guard to shooting guard. Vogel said the starting five was in need of “a jolt.”
Indiana’s starters came in averaging 54 points per game, 28th in the NBA.
West hit the opening shot of the game but the Pacers missed their next eight attempts before a 3-pointer by Watson more than five minutes later. Indiana made only seven of 24 attempts in the first quarter and trailed 28-20 after one.
The Pacers have trailed after the first quarter 16 times in 23 games this season. They’re 3-13 when falling behind after one.
Indiana couldn’t even keep its new-look lineup together throughout the game. Miles bruised his left knee in the first and left for good after playing three minutes in the second.
Williams scored 12 points in the second, connecting on three of four 3-point attempts, as Toronto led 53-42 at halftime.
West and Watson each scored six points in the third as the Pacers twice cut the deficit to four points but couldn’t get any closer. Toronto led 80-72 heading into the fourth.
Pacers: Miles replaced Solomon Hill in the starting lineup. Hill had been the only Indiana player to start all 22 games before Friday. … The Pacers also lost six in a row from Oct. 31-Nov. 8.
Raptors: Landry Fields made his second straight start. … Toronto is 4-3 since DeMar DeRozan suffered a torn tendon in his left groin. DeRozan remains sidelined indefinitely. … The Raptors out rebounded the Pacers 34-18 in the first half, and 52-39 overall. … Toronto has scored 100 or more points in 20 of its 23 games.
Pacers: Host Blazers on Saturday.
Raptors: At Knicks on Sunday.
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