Fatigue, cold-shooting and sloppy ball-handling took a heavy toll on the Indiana Pacers.
So did Rudy Gay and Amir Johnson.
Playing in only his fourth game for the Toronto Rapors since being acquired in a Jan. 30 trade, Gay sank a 15-foot jumper with 1.7 seconds remaining to lift the visiting Raptors to a 100-98 win Friday night against the Pacers.
Gay’s shot put the finishing touch on an improbable finish that saw his teammate, Johnson, tie the game at the buzzer following a bad in-bounds by Indiana’s David West. More on that in a moment.
Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Pacers (31-20) saw their home winning streak end at 16 games. They entered on a five-game winning streak overall.
The Pacers’ problems started in the fourth quarter. They led 72-64 heading in but missed their first eight shots to surrender the lead, 74-72, with just over seven minutes remaining.
Paul George scored Indiana’s first basket of the period, a 3-pointer, at the 7:01 mark. Although the score remained close through the end of regulation, the Pacers appeared to have the game won with 10 seconds to play.
But they didn’t.
Indiana went up 90-86 on a pair of West free throws with 10.7 seconds left. Toronto answered with a basket by Johnson. West then lobbed the inbounds pass towards midcourt, which was stolen by Gay, and fed to Johnson.
Johnson missed a 9-foot jumper, grabbed the rebound and tipped in the tying basket as time expired in regulation.
Indiana’s ball-handling problems continued in overtime, where — with the scored knotted 98-all — George Hill lost control under the Pacers’ basket with 10.1 seconds left to play.
Nine seconds later, Gay hit the jumper that sealed the Pacers’ fate and deflated a Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd of 16,253. The victory was Toronto’s second of the season on Indiana’s home court.
The Pacers dipped to 20-4 at home.
Gay led the Raptors (18-32) 23 points. DeMarr Rozen had 22, and Jonas Valanciunas, Andrea Bargnani and Johnson added 14 apiece.
West led all scorers with 30 points. George had 26 and a team-high 14 rebounds. Lance Stephenson was the only other Pacer in double figures with 11 points.
Indiana plays again Feb. 11 against the visiting Brooklyn Nets, the second of a five-game homestand.