It wasn't pretty, but the Toronto Raptors escaped their matchup with the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday with a much-needed win.
After trailing by double figures through three quarters, the Raptors stormed back in the fourth to beat their Eastern Conference rival by a final score of 99-96.
From injuries to key players to the small ball lineup that got them back in the game, here are four takeaways from Toronto's come-from-behind win.
Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam returned from injuries in this one, but the Raptors were still without Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas.
Without three of their top-5 scorers, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the Raptors struggled on offence for most of the game. Through three quarters, Toronto scored only 75 points on 40.8 percent shooting from the field and 18.2 percent shooting from 3-point range.
While Kawhi Leonard was their leading scorer with 19 points entering the fourth, it took him 17 shots to get there.
The Pacers, meanwhile, had 85 points on 53.2 percent shooting from the field. They showed no signs of being on the second night of a back-to-back until...
The 4th Quarter
The Raptors and Pacers basically switched places in the fourth quarter, with Toronto outscoring Indiana 24-11.
Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet were the ones who led the charge for the Raptors down the stretch. Leonard finished the game with 28 points, nine coming in the fourth quarter alone. VanVleet was right there with the two-time All-Star, scoring nine points (all from the 3-point line) in the game's closing minutes after missing 11 of his 12 shot attempts through the opening three quarters.
VanVleet's final 3-pointer of the game came with less than a minute remaining in regulation and gave the Raptors their first lead since the score was 5-4.
KEEP SHOOTING, @FredVanVleet! #BetOnYourself pic.twitter.com/cRxAOInBe7- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 20, 2018
VanVleet's final line of 11 points on 4-for-17 shooting from the field might not look great, but he made some huge plays on both ends to help the Raptors get the win.
The lineup that got the Raptors back in the game featured Fred VanVleet, Lorenzo Brown, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam.
OG Anunoby also got minutes in the fourth, as did CJ Miles.
With five perimeter players on the court, the Raptors could switch every pick-and-roll involving Victor Oladipo, who has been one of the league's best clutch performers so far this season. Oladipo finished the fourth quarter with only four points on 2-for-6 shooting from the field.
That small ball lineup put Pascal Siakam's defensive versatility on full display, as he switched onto Oladipo several times and came up with some timely stops.
Green came up with a big stop on Oladipo, too, forcing a jump ball on the All-Star with 2.9 seconds to go and coming up with possession.
The Turnover Battle
The Raptors did a good job of taking care of the ball all game long.
The Pacers? Not so much.
Whereas the Raptors finished the game with nine turnovers, the Pacers turned the ball over a whopping 23 times. Indiana's starting backcourt of Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo were responsibly for almost half of those turnovers and their one-two punch in the frontcourt of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis combined for five.
The Raptors made the Pacers pay for being careless with the ball, outscoring them 23-8 in points off of turnovers.
The Raptors are now 4-0 on the season when they turn the ball over less than 10 times.