DeMar DeRozan scores 26 to lead Raptors past Pacers for third straight win

Raptors 120 Pacers 115

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 120-115 win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

The Raptors (14-7) won their third straight and are 8-1 at Air Canada Centre this season while the Pacers (12-11) have dropped back-to-back games.

Jakob Poeltl had a career-best 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting off the bench while Serge Ibaka added 15 points and eight rebounds for Toronto.

Victor Oladipo had a game-high 36 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the loss while Myles Turner chipped in with 17 points and six rebounds.

After lamenting their third quarter issues following a win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, the Raptors were able to weather a push from Indiana to lead 94-89 through three.

Toronto led by seven at the break, pushed its lead to 10 in the third, before Indiana cut it to four. The Raptors built their lead back up to eight points, however, Toronto native Cory Joseph hit a buzzer-beating three to make it a five-point game.

The Raptors held a 10-point lead going into the second half last Friday in Indiana and watched it fade as the Pacers outscored them 31-20 in the third and went on to a 107-104 win.

Oladipo paced all scorers with 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting, but it was the Raptors who led 65-58 at the break on 12 points from DeRozan.

Indiana scored 14 unanswered to jump out to a 32-27 lead after one quarter. Turner and Oladipo each had nine points for the Pacers.

Toronto got out to an early 14-8 first quarter lead on the strength of a 7-0 run. DeRozan had six and Ibaka added five for the Raptors in the first.

Notes: Raptors C Lucas Nogueira missed his first game with a muscle tear in his right calf suffered in Wednesday’s win against Charlotte. … The 105th Grey Cup-winning Toronto Argonauts were honoured following the first quarter. … Toronto concludes its three-game home stand on Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns. … The Raptors and Pacers continue their four-game season series on March 15 at Indiana.

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