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Hawks-Raptors Preview

Dec 10, 2009 - 6:38 PM By MATT BECKER STATS Senior Writer

Atlanta (15-6) at Toronto (10-14), 7:00 p.m. EDT

One of the top-scoring teams in the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks are coming off their most lopsided win of the season. The Toronto Raptors are already quite familiar with Atlanta's offensive potential.

The Hawks, who had their highest-scoring game in 16 years last week against the Raptors, look to win their third straight Friday night in Toronto.

Atlanta (15-6) defeated Chicago 118-83 on Wednesday for its third win in four games after losing three of four.

The Hawks led 56-42 at halftime before opening the second half with a 20-4 run to put the game out of reach. Jamal Crawford led the way with a season-high 29 points as all 12 Atlanta players scored.

"We came out and took care of business from beginning to end," coach Mike Woodson said. "Everybody got a chance to play. It was a total team effort."

The decisive victory surpassed last week's blowout of Toronto for Atlanta's largest margin of victory on the season.

The Hawks defeated the Raptors 146-115 on Dec. 2, as the team had its best offensive output since Jan. 30, 1993, when they beat Philadelphia 149-123. Al Horford had 24 points to lead nine Atlanta players in double figures.

"Anytime a team scores 140 points on you, you can't say we did anything right on defense," Toronto's Jarrett Jack said after that loss. "We should be embarrassed. Everybody should be embarrassed. I don't want to take anything away from (the Hawks), but I know they don't average 140 points a game."

Led by Joe Johnson and his 21.0 points a contest, Atlanta is actually averaging 104.4 points, tied for sixth in the NBA.

Toronto (10-14) is allowing an average of 108.7 points, ranking it 29th in the league. The Raptors are 3-14 when they give up at least 100.

Toronto appeared to be turning things around on the defensive end recently, allowing an average of 82.5 points in winning two straight heading into Wednesday's matchup with Milwaukee. They couldn't make it three consecutive solid defensive performances in a row, losing 117-95.

"Other guys got a chance to step up today and I don't think anybody really did," Toronto coach Jay Triano said. "It came down to not being able to get stops. We had matchup problems all night long."

The Raptors allowed Milwaukee to shoot 52.5 percent from the floor, falling to 0-9 when opponents eclipse the 48.3 percent mark. The Hawks shot 59.1 percent - 52.4 percent (11 of 21) from 3-point range - against Toronto last week.

Despite another disappointing defensive effort Wednesday, Chris Bosh provided another strong offensive performance. He finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and has averaged 25.8 points and 13.5 boards in four games since being limited to a season-low two points in 16 minutes against the Hawks.

The four-time All-Star sat out much of the first half of the Atlanta game due to foul trouble and most of the second when the game got out of hand.

Toronto has lost three straight and five of the last six meetings with Atlanta.

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