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Rapid Recap: Raptors Use Fourth Quarter Push to Beat Hawks 96 - 86

The Toronto Raptors didn't look like they wanted to win this one but used another exceptional fourth quarter performance to get the W, beating the Atlanta Hawks, 96 - 86.

You could argue that was a game the Toronto Raptors should have lost.

However, considering they closed it on a 36 to 15 run over the final quarter of play, you could equally say the same thing I suppose about the Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks led this contest pretty much from the jump but were unable to close out the feisty Raptors, who used a big fourth quarter from DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry to snatch the 96 to 86 win from the ATLiens.

This one didn't start very well though. Toronto was outscored 25 to 16 after a quarter and looked half asleep. The defensive rotations were slow, players had lead in their feet getting out to challenge shots, and Jeff Teague again carved up the Dinos from the perimeter on in.

However despite all of this, and various turnover issues, the Raptors trailed by only seven at halftime.

Dwane Casey did everything in his power to get his crew going, even rolling out little-used options like Nando De Colo and Landry Fields but nothing seemed to work. Every time Toronto made some minor run, Atlanta came right back, usually led by Teague.

However Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson continued to plug away and with some help off the bench from Greivis Vasquez and De Colo in the third quarter, Toronto was still within striking distance entering the final quarter.

And then DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry came alive.

The duo combined for 23 points in the Q and willed their club to victory. The Hawks had no answer for either player, and Lowry sealed it with a shot-clock beating step-back three in front of the Hawks' bench just for added emphasis.

It was yet another dominant fourth quarter performance by the Dinos who lead the league in such exhibitions, and the Raps now finish off a stretch of tough games and move onto some easier contests this coming week such as games versus the Celtics and Cavs.

Easier on paper obviously because the Raptors need a much better 48 minute effort if they want to keep the third seed in the East. They also need some health.

Kyle Lowry is banged up and Amir Johnson suffered what his teammates post-game were calling a hyper-extended knee. That didn't stop Johnson obviously who made huge plays down the stretch and who his teammates said post-game would play "even if he got hit by a Mack Truck."

Yep, that seems about right.