Final - OT
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Raptors-Pacers Preview

Mar 16, 2016 - 6:03 PM While the Toronto Raptors are considering taking a foot off the gas with a top-two seed all but locked up, the Indiana Pacers are still talking about their potential.

The Raptors continue their push for the Eastern Conference's No. 1 spot Thursday night when they visit the Pacers, who are trying to bury a once-real possibility of missing the postseason.

Toronto (45-21) has won four of five games and 10 of 13 since Feb. 21 to cement itself well ahead of Boston in the Atlantic Division with 16 left to play. The Raptors narrowly trail East-leading Cleveland, but prior to Tuesday's game in Milwaukee coach Dwane Casey said he would start resting players in anticipation of the playoffs.

He held true to his word, resting leading scorer DeMar DeRozan in a 107-89 win, Toronto's third game in four days. The two-time All-Star had started each of the previous 65 games but watched from the bench alongside Jonas Valanciunas, who was held out as a precaution after bruising his left hand in Monday's 109-107 loss to Chicago.

Without their combined 36.5 points per game, Kyle Lowry picked up the slack. The All-Star had 25 points and 11 assists one night after finishing with 33 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists against the Bulls.

Rookie Norman Powell chipped in a season-high 17 points, and Lowry rested in the fourth quarter with the Raptors comfortably ahead.

''It just shows how much depth we have on the bench, when your star player can have a rest game and we still have a dominating game like that,'' said Powell, who played 34 minutes after averaging just 7 coming in.

Bismack Biyombo started for Valanciunas and posted 12 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, both coming in a third quarter in which the Bucks missed 16 of 22 shots. Toronto failed to contain Chicago a night earlier as the Bulls shot 49.4 percent but held Milwaukee to 44.2, including 2 of 13 from 3-point range.

The Raptors rank toward the top of the NBA by holding opponents to 98.4 points per game, and they held Indiana (36-31) to 37.2 percent shooting in a 106-99 home win Oct. 28. However, the Pacers snapped a five-game skid in this series by shooting 47.7 percent and making 10 of 22 3s in a 106-90 victory in Indianapolis on Dec. 14.

Paul George shot just 30 percent while averaging 16.5 points between the two games, but he has hit a second wind in Indiana's recent surge - with one exception.

George rebounded from a 3-for-15, seven-point effort in Sunday's 104-75 loss at Atlanta with 25 points in Tuesday's 103-98 win over Boston - Indiana's fourth victory in five games. Even with the poor outing against the Hawks, George has averaged 24.7 points the last six games.

The Pacers hold the East's seventh seed and close the regular season with 10 of 15 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where they are 20-11.

''(I see) potential, a lot of potential for this team to go forward (with momentum),'' George said. ''We got a chance to move up. With 15 games left, nothing is really set in stone, we're still right there.''

Indiana plays its next four games and seven of eight at home. Another victory there clinches a winning home record for the 27th straight season.

The Raptors are 19-13 on the road but have lost three of their last five.