Canadian-born Oshae Brissett exploded for a career-high 31 points against his country’s displaced team Sunday afternoon and the Indiana Pacers earned a home game in the NBA’s play-in tournament with a 125-113 thrashing of the host Toronto Raptors in the regular-season finale in Tampa, Fla.
Brissett completed a double-double with 10 rebounds, while Domantas Sabonis had one of his own with 25 points and 16 rebounds, as the Pacers (34-38) snapped a two-game losing streak to clinch a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Indiana assured it would finish tied with either Charlotte or Washington, who were playing each other in a contest that finished after the Pacers-Raptors game had ended. The Wizards secured the win 115-110 over the Hornets.
Being that the Pacers lost the season series to both the Hornets and Wizards, they were assured of losing the tie-breaker to each, and thus clinched the ninth seed in the play-in tournament.
They will host the winner of the Wizards on Tuesday night in the single-elimination 9-10 game.
Brissett, a second-year forward from Syracuse who was born in Toronto, shot 10-for-16 overall and 5-for-8 on 3-pointers en route to scoring eight more points than his previous career-high of 23 recorded on April 21 against Oklahoma City.
Brissett had a dunk and Sabonis an interior hoop to begin a 12-2 Pacers burst late in the first half that broke the game open.
Indiana led just 56-50 with 3:33 left in the half before the run, which also featured a second hoop by Sabonis, two free throws by Brissett, and baskets by T.J. McConnell and Caris LeVert, the latter wrapping up the run that produced a 68-52 advantage in the first seconds of the second period.
Toronto (27-45), completing a “home schedule” more than 1,300 miles from home, was never appreciably closer in the second half.
Doug McDermott chipped in with 20 points, LeVert and Kelan Martin with 13 apiece and McConnell with 12 for the Pacers, who are seeking to earn a spot into the Eastern Conference playoffs main draw for the sixth straight year.
Malachi Flynn went for 27 points, Stanley Johnson 24 and DeAndre’ Bembry 23 for the Raptors, who finished the season on a seven-game losing streak.
Khem Birch (18 points and 14 rebounds) and Aron Baynes (14 points, 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles for Toronto, while Freddie Gillespie grabbed 10 rebounds to complement seven points.
–Field Level Media