The 27-39 Pelicans are primed for the kind of defense-optional game that gives the 37-29 Raptors problems. They are averaging just under 113 points per game over their last 6 contests in which they have gone 4-2. On Sunday, Davis had 40 points and 21 rebounds in a 121-120 overtime victory over Boston.
The Hawks only scored 17 points in the first quarter, but there were signs that their offense would turn around. The Hawks demonstrated solid offensive movement and found some decent looks. They just couldn’t hit their shots. That all changed after the first quarter. Whether it was DeMarre Carroll making a solid back-door cut or Kyle Korver running himself into open space, the Hawks were able to exploit the Raptors defense for profit. Terrence Ross got lost repeatedly while guarding Kyle Korver. Jeff Teague was able to consistently turn the corner on the Raptor’s bigs, especially those who came off the bench. Tyler Hansborough made some solid defensive help rotations in overtime, but he was mostly ineffective. Poor Chuck Hayes got burnt, committing four fouls in the fourth quarter. Patterson, get well soon. Read more at http://www.raptorscage.ca/post-game-raptors-fall-hawks-sloppy-affair/#z6oAkcAcpRxW66sv.99
To fully comprehend what the Raptors are now and where they’re headed, it’s important to first understand where (or, rather, how) they’ve been. The 2013-14 season is Toronto’s 19th in the NBA. Only five of the previous 18 ended with the Raptors competing in the postseason. The last of those came in 2008, whenChris Bosh and company went 41-41 before they were bounced from the first round by the Orlando Magic, 4-1. Barring an epic collapse over the next month, the Raptors can count on bringing to an end the longest playoff drought in franchise history.
There was and will be no word on Valanciunas before a couple of hours to game time, I wouldn’t think, so there’s no sense in speculating too much. He was walking gingerly when we saw him after the game and that didn’t look good for a quick return so there’s that.
Toronto committed a couple of mental errors in the game’s final moments. First Amir Johnson was whistled for an offensive foul as he grabbed Antic’s arm as he tried to rotate over to defend a drive by DeMar DeRozan. The as the Hawks tried to inbound the ball,Terrence Ross was whistled for an away from the ball foul against Kyle Korver. That sent Korver to the line for one free throw and gave the Hawks possession of the ball.
Now that was a close one; from the 5:52 mark in the second quarter until the end of the game, neither team led by more than five points in this overtime thriller. The Hawks used an aggressive night from Jeff Teague to take down the third-seeded Raptors in overtime, giving the Hawks their fifth win in a row. Teague tied a career-high with 34 points, with 15 of those points coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry both had great nights for the Raptors, but those two did not get enough help from the rest of their team after halftime to secure the win.
The Hawks overcame an early 13-point deficit in a game that went back and forth in the final quarter. Millsap missed a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but Teague knocked down four free throws in the closing seconds to clinch it for Atlanta. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 29 points, but he had two crucial turnovers in the last minute of regulation, getting called for an offensive foul and slipping on another drive, losing the ball out of bounds. The Hawks went ahead for good when Millsap found DeMarre Carroll all alone under the basket for the layup, which put Atlanta up 111-109 with 2:37 remaining and gave Millsap his 10th assist.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Raptors lost the services of big man Valanciunas for the night, as he went ot the locker room with a lower back sprain. With Patterson already unavailable, that limited Casey’s ability to match bigs with the Hawks. To that point, Valanciunas had been having a pretty tidy game with 16 points and five rebounds, while limiting the scoring ability of both Millsap and Pero Antic. Compounding the issue were the four fouls Amir Johnson, the Raps other starting big, had been carrying since the early part of the third quarter. It meant a lot of Chuck Hayes and Steve Novak through the latter half of the third and the fourth quarter and eventually some Tyler Hansbrough. The Raptors got off to a nice start in this one holding the Hawks to just 17 points in the first quarter and were up by as many as 13 with four minutes to go in that first quarter.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 29 points, but he had two crucial turnovers in the last minute of regulation, getting called for an offensive foul and slipping on another drive, losing the ball out of bounds. ”A lot of things didn’t go our way,” DeRozan said, ”but we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that situation to start with.” The Hawks went ahead for good when Millsap found DeMarre Carroll all alone under the basket for a layup, which put Atlanta up 111-109 with 2:37 remaining and gave Millsap his 10th assist. Toronto went more than 3 1-2 minutes without scoring in the overtime, allowing the Hawks to hang on when most of their shots weren’t falling, either. ”We’ve got to learn from it,” DeRozan said.