INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Victor Oladipo suffered a serious right knee injury that could alter the season for the Indiana Pacers, who beat the Toronto Raptors 110-106 on Wednesday night.
The All-Star guard crumpled to the ground with 4:05 left in the second quarter as he tried to defend an outlet pass to Toronto’s Pascal Siakam.
The magnitude of the injury was apparent almost immediately. Trainers draped a towel over the leg, and players from both teams surrounded Oladipo as he remained down. No replays were shown on the video screen that stretches from free-throw line to free-throw line.
Fans began chanting his name and gave him a standing ovation as he was carted off on a stretcher. Team officials later said Oladipo was scheduled to have an MRI on Thursday.
“There’s no other choice but business as usual,” assistant coach Dan Burke told Fox Sports Indiana at halftime. “For 24 minutes, we have to have our focus right here. Our hearts and thoughts might be somewhere else, but we have to focus.”
Oladipo leads the Pacers in scoring at 19.2 points per game, and it appears that Indiana, which is third in the Eastern Conference behind Toronto and Milwaukee, will be without him for a substantial amount of time. He missed 11 games earlier this season with a sore right knee, and the Pacers went 7-4 in that stretch.
“It’s unfortunate,” Darren Collison told the crowd afterward. “We’ve got to keep going for him.”
It didn’t take long for supportive messages to start pouring in from around the league on social media.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, Phoenix guard Devin Booker, Washington guard Bradley Beal and Oklahoma City’s Paul George were among the first to respond.
“Prayers up VO,” George wrote on Twitter, with four sets of the praying hand emoji to emphasize his point.
Oladipo was acquired in a trade for George in the summer of 2017.
Thaddeus Young had 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Pacers on Wednesday. Collison added 16 points as Indiana won its third straight and snapped a five-game losing streak to the Raptors.
Toronto was led by Serge Ibaka with 23 points and 11 rebounds and Kyle Lowry with 20 points. The Raptors again played without Kawhi Leonard, O.G. Anunoby or Jonas Valanciunas.
After jumping to a 24-16 lead at the end of one quarter, extending the margin to 30-10 early in the second and finishing the half on a 9-4 run to make it 59-47 at the half, the Pacers maintained the upper hand in the second half.
Toronto got as close as 98-97 after Serge Ibaka made a 5-footer with 4:20 to play. But Thaddeus Young answered with a three-point play and the Pacers made just enough plays down the stretch to hold on.
Raptors: Six players scored in double figures. ... Toronto was 12 of 39 on 3s. ... The Raptors had won three straight without Anunoby, Leonard and Valanciunas. ... Toronto dropped to 8-2 on the second night of back-to-backs and 11-3 this season without Leonard. ... Ibaka had his seventh double-double of the season and also had three blocks. ... Lowry had five rebounds and seven assists.
Pacers: Have won five of six. ... Indiana improved to 22-1 when scoring 110 or more points. ... Myles Turner had 13 points and 10 rebounds. ... Bojan Bogdanovic had 16 points and Domantas Sabonis had 12 while playing through foul trouble.
Raptors: Make the second stop on a three-game trip Friday at Houston.
Pacers: Visits Memphis on Saturday, seeking their fourth straight win over the Grizzlies.