Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:35 | By Agence France-Presse

Pacers, Raptors win to level playoff matchups

The Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers captured key NBA playoff triumphs to equalize their Eastern Conference playoff matchups after each team lost best-of-seven series openers on their home court.


Pacers, Raptors win to level playoff matchups

Paul George of the Indiana Pacers grabs a rebound against the Atlanta Hawks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 22, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana - by Andy Lyons

Toronto's DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and took charge in the final minutes as the Raptors defeated Brooklyn 100-95 on Tuesday.

Paul George scored 27 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, passed out six assists and made four steals Tuesday to lead East top seed Indiana over Atlanta 101-85, like the Raptors pulling level at 1-1 in their first-round series.

At Toronto, DeRozan shook off a 3-of-13 shooting performance in a game one loss to the Nets, sinking back-to-back baskets to give the Raptors a 91-87 lead.

Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson each hit baskets to pull the Nets within two but DeRozan hit free throws down the stretch, part of a 17-point performance in the fourth quarter, to seal Brooklyn's fate.

Amir Johnson had 16 points and nine rebounds for Toronto while Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds in the first Raptors' playoff victory since 2008.

Joe Johnson led the Nets with 18 points while Deron Williams had 15 and Pierce managed only seven on 2-of-11 shooting after scoring nine points in the last three minutes in game one.

At Indianapolis, the Pacers outscored the Hawks 31-13 in the third quarter to seize a 79-65 edge and stretched the lead as large as 27 points in the final period.

Indiana made 12-of-16 shots in the third quarter and limited the Hawks to only 5-of-20 from the floor to take command.

Luis Scola came off the bench to score 20 points and pull down seven rebounds for Indiana, which also had 15 points from George Hill, 10 of them in the pivotal third quarter.

Paul Millsap led Atlanta with 19 points while Jeff Teague added 14.

The next two games will be Thursday and Saturday in Atlanta, where the Pacers have won only twice since December 2006.

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