Raptors Edge Hawks For Third Straight Win
Toronto 108, Atlanta 97
ATLANTA, Jan. 3 (Ticker) -- A flurry of 3-pointers gave the Toronto Raptors their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Mike James, Morris Peterson and Darrick Martin each made a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as the resurgent Raptors rallied for a 108-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Toronto made 10-of-19 3-pointers, including 6-of-7 in the final period, when it took advantage of double-teams on Bosh. James got things started with a pair from the arc on consecutive possessions early in the fourth quarter and Peterson connected for a 90-90 tie with 5:02 to play.
"We figured Chris is going to get double-teamed," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "We've been talking to Chris about it, telling him to stop trying to make the great pass and make the easy pass. Something good's going to happen."
Two baskets by Joe Johnson and a pair of free throws by Zaza Pachulia gave Atlanta a 96-92 lead with 3:32 to play. Martin, a journeyman point guard, drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner to trigger a closing 16-1 run.
A 3-pointer by Peterson, also from the right corner, snapped a 97-97 tie with 1:55 to play. Just over a minute later, Martin struck again from the top of the arc.
"I've got to take all the open (shots)," said Martin, who was 0-for-2 from behind the arc coming into the fourth quarter. "You can't be bashful playing this game. I've been struggling little bit, but I was able to knock down the shots."
"Wide-open jumpers to guys with their feet set," Bosh said. "Those are the best ones to shoot."
Peterson scored 13 points, Jalen Rose added 11 and Martin eight for the Raptors, who are a very respectable 7-10 on the road. Toronto has won five straight meetings with Atlanta.
"We knew Atlanta would come out ready to play," Peterson said. "I think we wanted it more. I'm glad we hung around. Anytime they made runs, we fought back, and that's the sign of a team growing."
"We're trying to win every game we're playing," Bosh said. "When you lose, you're hungry to get a win. When you win, it feels great. It's a great feeling. I love it."
Johnson, Pachulia and Al Harrington scored 18 points each and Josh Smith added 17 for the Hawks, who have lost four in a row.
Atlanta had seven turnovers and six baskets in the fourth quarter, going scoreless over the final 3:56.
"It was brutal," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We were up seven. We turn the ball over three of the next four possessions. You're not going to beat teams like that. In the crunch time, we settle for jumpers. When jumpers are not falling, you have to drive the ball and try to create either for yourself or your teammates."
"We did settle for a lot of jumpers," Johnson said. "I really just think we need to at least start pump-faking and driving more. We just settled for a lot of jump shots, and it cost us the game at the end."
Smith scored 15 points in the first half as the Hawks grabbed a 53-52 lead. They extended the advantage to 76-65 on a free throw by Pachulia with 3:39 left in the third quarter before the Raptors closed to 80-73 entering the final period.