DeRozan leads balanced attack as Raptors top HawksApr 16, 2012 - 12:51 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - DeMar DeRozan scored a team-high 23 points as six Raptors finished in double figures and Toronto defeated the Atlanta Hawks 102-86 at Philips Arena on Sunday.
Alan Anderson chipped in 16 points, James Johnson added 15, and Ed Davis, Ben Uzoh and Justin Dentmon tallied 10 points apiece for the Raptors, who have won two straight since halting a four-game skid.
"Believe me if I knew I'd bottle it," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey when asked about his team's effort. "We would have been doing it earlier in the year. Guys are just playing the right way and playing together, playing with a purpose."
Josh Smith led all scorers with 26 points and Ivan Johnson and Willie Green netted 14 points apiece as the Hawks fell for the second time in three games. Atlanta could have clinched a playoff spot with a victory but now must wait until Monday when these two teams meet again in Toronto for the second game of a home-and-home.
"You know what, I don't think it's a game you want to put out of your mind," remarked Green about the loss. "I think it's a game we need to think about. We're supposed to be getting prepared for a playoff run. It was a let down tonight on our part as a team."
The loss, coupled with an Orlando Magic victory over the Cavaliers on Sunday, drops the Hawks into a tie with the Magic for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto scored the first five of the game and never trailed in the first quarter, leading by as many as 10 before the Hawks closed the gap with a 12-4 run to close the first quarter facing a 25-23 deficit.
In the second, Dentmon scored five straight for the Raptors before Ivan Johnson responded with five points of his own to pull the Hawks back within 38-35 with just over five minutes left.
The Raptors pulled away late in the second, reeling off eight straight points in a 15-4 swing to close out the half with a 53-39 advantage.
Atlanta pulled within five just before the midpoint of the third, but Toronto quickly restored a double-digit lead with seven straight points to press the lead to 66-54.
Green converted a three-point play with less than a second left in the stanza, trimming the deficit to 73-64 heading into the final frame.
A 13-2 start to the fourth found the visitors holding a 20-point lead after Linas Kleiza finished a putback layup, pushing the margin to 86-66 with 7:36 left in the game.
The lead touched 24 at its peak as the Raptors cruised the rest of the way to complete the victory.
Entering the game, the Hawks were 10-1 in the last 11 matchups between the teams and unbeaten in the past seven as the host...After Monday's game in Toronto, Atlanta finishes the season with five-straight at home where they hold a 19-9 record...The Raptors outscored the Hawks 46-28 in the paint.
- TORONTO: 102
Apr 15 8:25 PM
- TORONTO: 73
End of 3rd
Apr 15 7:51 PM
- TORONTO: 53
Apr 15 7:11 PM
- TORONTO: 25
End of 1st
Apr 15 6:39 PM
- TORONTO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 15 6:13 PM
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