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Pacers win 3rd in row, beating Raptors

INDIANAPOLIS — Roy Hibbert scored 22 points and Danny Granger matched his season high with 13 to help Indiana hold off Toronto 86-79 Tuesday night.

The Pacers (28-6) won their third straight, retaining the NBA's best record by holding the Raptors to a season low in points.

Toronto (16-17) has lost two straight on the road — at Miami and Indiana — after winning four straight. The Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan with 28 and Patrick Patterson with 20 against a Pacers team that looked more like itself after losing north of the border last week.

Indiana had a 40-26 scoring advantage in the paint and limited the Raptors to 37 percent shooting from the field. And instead of struggling in the second half, the Pacers pulled away.

They closed the first half on an 8-3 spurt to take a 44-36 lead they extended to 17 in the third. Toronto couldn't get closer than six the rest of the way.

Not all went smoothly for the Pacers.

All-Star Paul George got into early foul trouble and never really got going. And the Pacers' usually solid outside shooters were just 1 of 11 from 3-point range. But Indiana turned the tables on Toronto with an old combination.

The Pacers had a 53-36 rebounding edge, and filled the gaps with a balanced offense. Lance Stephenson fell just short of his fourth triple double of the season, finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. George and George Hill each added 11.

But Toronto fought valiantly, jumping to an 11-4 lead and quickly cut an eight-point second quarter deficit to 32-31 with a 7-0 spurt.

Indiana regained control by scoring the next four points and closing the first half on the 8-3 run.

The Pacers made it 58-43 after scoring eight straight in the third and led 71-54 in the final minute of the quarter.

Toronto charge back in the fourth. They closed to 77-70 on Lowry's layup with 4:14 to go, made it 81-75 when Patterson hit a 3 with 2:51 to play and got it to six two more times. Twice, they had chances to get even closer, but they missed two 3s in the final minute and the Pacers held on.

Kyle Lowry scored 16 for the Raptors.