TORONTO, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Indiana Pacers lost to Toronto Raptors 102-94 in NBA action on Friday night to fall to 3-7 in their last ten games.
The loss was also Indiana's sixth consecutive road loss as they drop to 19-19 overall on the road this season.
"Tough loss. You got to give credit to the Raptors playing a heck of a basketball game," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel after the game. "In particular, the three starters that they did have in their line-up just played out of their minds."
In their first 49 games of the season, Indiana led the Eastern Conference with a 39-10 record. In the 28 games since Feb. 9, they hold a 14-14 record and sit in second place in the conference with a 53-24 record.
"I thought we played better," said Vogel. "We still continue to get back on track but it wasn't enough to beat one of the best home teams in the NBA in the second half of the season."
Since Jan. 1, Toronto are 19-6 in games played at Air Canada Center. Friday's game against Indiana was a sell-out, ninth of the season for Toronto.
"They got a great home crowd, but it didn't affect us at all," said Pacers All-Star Paul George who finished with a game-high 26 points. "We've played in hostile arenas more hostile than this. It didn't affect us."
Despite the recent struggles, Vogel is optimistic that his team will use the final five games of the season against Atlanta, Milwaukee, Miami, Oklahoma City and Orlando to prepare for the playoffs. Three of these are road games.
"When you get to the playoffs, you got to win (on the road). We've done so in the past," said Vogel. "We haven't done it of late. Something that we can continue to work on."
George shares the views of his coach.
"We're starting to get back to playing good basketball, home or away. We just got to continue building these habits," said George. "Just try to win every game possible, try to put together some decent games and not mail it in early."
The Pacers have secured the second place seed in the Eastern Conference and continue to battle with the Heat for the number one seed. Indiana currently sit 0.5 games behind Miami.