Raptors erase 17-point deficit in comeback win, but did the refs help them out in the end?

The Toronto Raptors had already turned what was previously a 17-point deficit into only a seven-point deficit, but this dunk from Kawhi Leonard was probably the moment the Toronto crowd realized their team was really making the comeback.

That was two very loud points of what ended up being a 99-96 win for the first-place Raptors on Wednesday night, but the ending likely left a sour taste in more than a few Pacers fans’ mouths.

Raptors mount 17-point comeback over Pacers

The Raptors started slowly against the Pacers, finishing the first quarter down 34-24 and never pulling to closer than five points over the next two quarters. They started cooking early in the fourth quarter, stringing together an 8-0 run to pull within 5, then tying the game minutes later on a Pascal Siacam bucket.

The Pacers responded and were up 96-94 with less than 30 seconds left, at which point Fred VanVleet stepped in and nailed a deep 3-pointer to give the Raptors their first lead since the first two minutes of the first quarter.

Pacers suffer another frustrating loss

VanVleet’s 3-pointer came with 26.4 seconds left, so the Pacers had ample opportunity to respond. A Victor Oladipo turnover was one missed opportunity, and gave the Raptors two Kawhi Leonard free throws to make it a 3-point lead, and then, well, this happened with one second remaining.

It sure looks like OG Anunoby got a hand in where he shouldn’t have on Bojan Bogdanovic’s attempt at game-tying 3-pointer, but the refs missed the contact and let time expire. 99-96 Raptors.

That’s the second straight loss for the Pacers after the team’s seven-game win streak, and also its second straight loss that ended on a disappointing no-call.

The team fell to the Cavaliers 92-91 on Tuesday on a buzzer-beating tip-in from Larry Nance Jr. However, the NBA’s Last Two Minutes report concluded that Nance should have been called for throwing Victor Oladipo to the floor while waiting for the rebound.

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