The Rudy Gay era has officially arrived for Toronto fans. The night it happened was February 8, 2013. At approximately 21:52 est Rudy Gay sank a shot over an out-stretched and recent all-star selection Paul George to stun Indiana fans at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Toronto Raptors’ most recent addition (and a player rated an 87 in NBA 2K for those fanatics like me) began the night slowly, with 6 points in the opening frame. With the game dragging on, neither side seemed willing to give an inch. Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas both played well against a tough, hard-nosed Pacer’s team, led by a bruising David West. The powerful 4 man finished with 30 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists in 41 minutes of action; a pillar for any team to lean on.
Andrea Bargnani fared well in his second venture with this new look Raptor team, ending the night with 14 points. I could rehash the effort Jonas V. showed, when Tyler Hansbrough literally grabbed him and threw him to the ground – sending Jonas to the bench, clutching his recently broken hand. The night wore on and truly it was a game of grit and determination. The Indiana fans who came to tonight’s contest weren’t disappointed; it was a playoff atmosphere from wire to wire. Gay was quiet in the mid part of the game, not scoring a point until the final frame.
With the Raptors trailing the Pacers by 4 with 10 seconds left, the game seemed all but in hand. The Raptor fans were treated to an emphatic dunk with 12 seconds remaining by Gay, before refocusing for the quick foul where the Pacers sunk two free throws. Gay seemed unusually focused at this point; he slammed it so viciously, but then went blank, immediately changing focus to the next necessary step to win the game. This followed with a quick score by Amir Johnson, with 7 seconds left – leaving Indiana up by 2…..
Gay then stole the inbound pass, delivered it to Amir Johnson who missed initially, but then followed with a tip in at the buzzer sending the game into over time. In the dying seconds with the game tied at 98, George hill seemed to show boat for a moment, dribbling between the legs above the key teasing the defense as the clock ticked down. Then, on a drive – he lost the ball.
With the stage set perfectly, Gay delivered the knockout punch again, dropping the final shot over Paul George and finishing off a truly herculean feat. Gay finished with 17 points in the 4th quarter and overtime, and 23 for the game. Rudy Gay never lost hope that the Toronto Raptors could beat the Indiana Pacers tonight at home – something that hasn’t happened to Indiana alot this season; in fact, the Raptors snapped the Pacers’ 15-game home winning streak. Maybe Rudy is trying to teach us something about believing.