Raptors Rapid Recap: Atlanta 107 – Toronto 101

- With their grasp on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference slipping away, the Toronto Raptors needed to prove they deserve the right to be destroyed by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round of the playoffs.

- The Atlanta Hawks started just 2-16 from the field and Toronto ended the first quarter on a 9-0 run for a 25-14 lead.

- With Chris Bosh sidelined for at least the remainder of the regular season, Andrea Bargnani and masked man Hedo Turkoglu FINALLY stepped up… at least in the first quarter. The duo was a combined 7 of 10 from the field for 16 points in the opening frame.

- And then the wheels fell off. I mean, they REALLY fell off. A 45-22 second-quarter demolition capped by Jamal Crawford’s eighth four-point play of the season staked the Hawks to a 59-47 lead at halftime.

- Offensive rebounding (18-12 in favour of the Hawks), second-chance points and free-throw shooting (27 of 30 for the Hawks) were the story in this one. The aforementioned Bargnani and Turkoglu were also just 4 of 13 after the first quarter.

- Antoine Wright was the latest Raptor to require assistance leaving the court with an ankle injury. Hey, at least he didn’t break his nose!

- Despite falling behind by as many as 20 points, the Raptors fought back to make it close. But it was a case of too little, too late.

- Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bulls now looms as the biggest game of the season.

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