Hawks Stop Raptors Bid for Third Straight Win, Dominate Second Half in 109 - 87 Victory (Rapid Recap)


-It was another valiant attempt by the Toronto Raptors but they couldn't notch their third straight win. Instead, the Atlanta Hawks got some revenge after last night's beating and took down the Dinos, 109 to 87. The win clinched a playoff spot for ATL, making it five straight post-season appearances for the Hawks.

-The Raps started this one off well, leading after a quarter and being down by only three at the break. But really, after a 32 point first quarter, Toronto's offence went cold as the club scored only 55 points the rest of the way. The Hawks on the other hand kept the offence coming, turning Toronto's 18 turnovers into easy baskets.

-The game saw the return of one of Toronto's biggest issues this season too, struggles at the foul line. Not in terms of making free throws, but getting there in the first place. The Raps shot only 16 all game and all but four of those came in the first half. Contrast that to Atlanta which shot 36.

-And really that was the difference in this one. Both teams played up and down defensively, and were pretty even on the glass, but the free-throw disparity was too much for Toronto to overcome, especially since they just couldn't make their jump shots. Gary Forbes, Ben Uzoh and Alan Anderson played a combined 81 minutes of action, but had only 25 points on horrific 9 of 31 shooting.

-There were some bright spots though for Raptors' fans. DeMar DeRozan was solid again with an efficient 22 points and James Johnson's recent rebirth continued as he had 18 points, five assists and four rebounds.

-And how about Solomon Alabi? Solo saw 24 minutes of action and nearly netted a double-double with 8 points and 9 rebounds.

-The big win though was the loss itself, which puts the Raptors bank into tank mode. The team has some major losing to do to catch up with clubs like the Kings and Cavs, but with Miami up next on Wednesday, tonight's loss might have been a big first step.

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