The Raptors lead the best-of-seven first-round series 2-1 and have reclaimed the home-court advantage they squandered by losing the series opener last weekend.
But after the opening minutes, the game was never close.
DeRozan’s early scoring flurry spurred a 13-4 first-quarter run, which gave Toronto a 21-13 lead. The Raptors never trailed again.
And when DeRozan went to the bench at the start of the second quarter, the onslaught continued. Toronto opened the quarter on an 18-7 spurt, extending the lead to 42-24 and Indiana never got closer than 12 points again.
Seeing DeRozan back in All-Star form was a much needed relief for the Raptors.
Coming into Thursday, he was just 10 of 37 from the field and 0 for 5 from 3-point range through the first two games. In Monday’s victory he didn’t even attempt a free throw – only the second time that happened all season.
He had no trouble in Game 3. DeRozan made his first three shots, scored 12 points in the first quarter, finished 7 of 19 from the field and went 7 of 9 at the free throw line.
For the Pacers, it was an embarrassing night.
They scored a season-low 36 points in the first half, flirted with a season-low shooting percentage most of the game and were in danger of suffering their second-worst playoff loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse until a late push made the score less lopsided.
Neither the Pacers nor their fans were pleased with the way the game was officiated. George drew a technical foul in the final minute of the first quarter, Rodney Stuckey picked up another technical less than 3 minutes later and Turner drew his technical midway through the third.
Raptors: Have their fifth playoff series lead in franchise history. The others: 3-2 in a best-of-five series win over the Knicks in 2001, 1-0 and 2-1 over Philadelphia in 2001 and 3-2 over Brooklyn in 2014. … Toronto is 5-19 all-time in playoff road games. … Swingman Terrence Ross had five points and three rebounds in a little less than 10 minutes after passing the league’s concussion protocol. Ross was injured when he ran into a teammate during Monday night’s victory. … DeMarre Carroll had 17 points and Cory Joseph scored 10.
Pacers: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game. It was his second trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a game in less than three weeks – he also attended the NCAA women’s basketball championship. … Thursday marked the fifth anniversary of George’s home playoff debut, April 21, 2011. The Pacers also lost that night, to the Chicago Bulls. … Indiana’s worst playoff loss on its current home court was 110-79 to Boston in 2005. … The only other player to reach double figures was George Hill who had 13 points.