Hawks take down skidding RaptorsJan 17, 2012 - 12:24 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Josh Smith poured in 28 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks continued to surge with a 93-84 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Joe Johnson finished with 27 points and six assists for the Hawks, who have won three in a row and six of seven. Their last three victories have come despite the fact they've played without Al Horford, who will be out for the next three to four months because of a shoulder injury suffered last week.
Leandro Barbosa netted 22 points to lead Toronto, which dropped its fifth consecutive contest. Amir Johnson had 13 points and 10 boards, while guard Jose Calderon finished with 13 points and 11 assists, but they couldn't make up for the absence of several key players.
The Raptors played without leading scorer Andrea Bargnani (strained calf) and Jerryd Bayless (sprained ankle).
"We knew this was going to be a tough year, a very difficult year with the personnel and now definitely with Andrea and Bayless," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey.
The Hawks were ahead by only two going into the fourth quarter, but opened the final period with eight consecutive points.
It wasn't exactly an offensive showcase -- Jeff Teague closed the run by making 1-of-2 foul shots with 7:55 left. The Raptors simply struggled on offense, missing their first 10 shots and a technical free throw, and turning the ball over twice.
DeMar DeRozan scored Toronto's first points of the quarter on a layup with 6:45 to go, and Barbosa followed with a three to bring the Raptors within 81-76. But they couldn't close the gap completely.
Inside two minutes to go, Smith tipped in a shot. After Toronto came up empty on its next two possessions, Johnson knocked down a three to secure the victory -- it pushed the Hawks' lead to 90-80 with 49.5 seconds left.
Johnson scored 17 points in the second half, while Smith ended with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
"I think I'm in a different state of mind," Smith said. "I'm playing as hard as I've ever played."
Smith scored 12 points in the first quarter to help Atlanta establish a 26-18 advantage, and the Hawks led throughout the second quarter. They were ahead by as many as 13 -- Teague hit a jumper with 3:55 left to make it a 43-30 contest.
But moments later, Toronto used an 8-0 run -- including six points from Barbosa -- to cut its deficit. The Raptors were within 50-45 at the break, and stayed close in the third. While Atlanta did not lose its lead, it was never up by more than seven in the quarter, and carried a 73-71 edge into the fourth.
Atlanta has won five in a row against Toronto...The Hawks scored 22 points off 17 Toronto turnovers...DeRozan finished with 10 points, but shot only 5- of-17...The Hawks are 3-0 during their current homestand, which ends Wednesday against Portland.
- TORONTO: 84
Jan 16 6:33 PM
- TORONTO: 71
End of 3rd
Jan 16 5:59 PM
- TORONTO: 45
Jan 16 5:13 PM
- TORONTO: 18
End of 1st
Jan 16 4:40 PM
- TORONTO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Jan 16 4:15 PM
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