Oshae Brissett scored a career-best 31 points and Domantas Sabonis added 25 points, 16 rebounds and three steals and the Indiana Pacers beat the Toronto Raptors 125-113 to lock up the Eastern Conference’s ninth seed.
Indiana snapped a two-game losing streak and secured home-court advantage for Tuesday’s play-in game. Up as much as 18 in the third quarter, Indiana allowed Toronto to get within 110-101 late in the fourth. Sabonis then sealed the game with a put-back layup, an assist to Brissett for a 3-pointer and a jumper.
Sabonis returned from a one-game absence because of a left quad injury and earned his 48th double-double and his 14th game with at least 15 rebounds. He also had five assists for Indiana, which was still without Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner, Aaron Holiday and Edmond Sumner.
Doug McDermott scored 20 points and hit four 3-pointers, while Caris LaVert added 13 points and six assists. Kelan Martin scored 13 points off the bench, while T.J. McConnell added 12 points and 17 assists for Indiana, which shot 50.5% for the game and made 15 3-pointers.
Brissett, who signed two 10-day contracts in April prior to signing for the rest of the season, easily topped his previous career high of 23 points set on April 21 against Oklahoma City.
Brissett, who played with the Raptors for 19 games last season, hurt Toronto by making 10 of 16 shots and 5 of 8 3s. He added 10 rebounds.
Toronto point guard Malachi Flynn scored a career-best 27 points and hit five 3-pointers. Stanley Johnson scored 24 points and DeAndre Bembry had 23 for Toronto, which missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The Raptors were forced to play in Tampa this season because of Canadian restrictions regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Khem Birch added 18 points and 14 rebounds for Toronto, while Aron Baynes added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Toronto again held out Pascal Siakam (shoulder), Fred VanVleet (hip), Kyle Lowry (rest), OG Anunoby (calf), Rodney Hood (hand), Yuta Watanabe (ankle) and Paul Watson (knee), meaning it was without its top six scorers on the season. The Raptors played just six players — three of them centers with only one point guard.
Pacers: Coach Nate Bjorkman said prior to tip-off that center Myles Turner has already been ruled out of Tuesday’s first playoff game. Turner, who hasn’t played since April 18 because of a toe injury, ranks first in the NBA in blocked shots at 3.4 a game. … Malcolm Brogdon, out since April 29 with a hamstring injury, worked out prior to the game and ran timed sprints under the supervision of a trainer. … Indiana opened the game by missing its first two 3-point shots and then made seven of the its next 11. … Justin Holiday, the only player to appear in all 73 regular-season games last season for the Pacers, became the only Indiana player to appear in all 72 games this season.
Raptors: Coach Nick Nurse said he doesn’t blame any of his team’s struggles this season on being forced to play in Tampa instead of Toronto. The Raptors closed the season 16-20 at home while playing in Tampa’s Amalie Arena. Said Nurse: “It was more COVID-related than location-related. It was the protocols, restrictions, testing, and I don’t think there were any restrictions on the floor being available.”