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Raptors Rocked By Hawks At Air Canada Centre
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Hawks 111 89 Raptors
Jay Satur
December 11, 2009
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON


The Raptors' defensive effort was there to start but seemed to deflate after the Hawks drilled some tough contested shots in the early going. Atlanta wiped out an eight-point first-quarter deficit and then used a 15-3 run to go up 50-36 in the second quarter. They wouldn't allow the Raptors back in it the rest of the way.

It may have been the Raptors' second consecutive weak defensive performance against the Hawks, but give credit where its due. The Hawks are a deep, talented team that's knocked off some impressive competition on their way to the top half of the East and that talent was on full display Friday.



Just an all-around solid night from Joe Johnson, who scored nine in the first quarter, 13 by halftime and checked out for the night with 20 points, five assists and three rebounds after three quarters.

He used a crafty hesitation dribble to go right at Antoine Wright in the lane and was equally adept at raining jumpers over the extended reach of Andrea Bargnani. He was also more than willing to find his teammates, racking up five assists.


Hedo Turkoglu's slow start to the season in terms of scoring has been well-documented and despite his third game out of four with 12 points or less, he made his presence felt in other ways.

He saw a lot of ballhandling duties for stretches of the second half, which contributed to his eight assists. He also added seven rebounds.


Three-point shooting was a major factor in this one. Four different Hawks drilled threes in the first quarter, two of which came during a 19-9 Atlanta run to end the frame with a 29-27 lead. It was six of eight attempts buried by halftime, with Maurice Evans responsible for half of them.

The Raptors however, continued a recent bizarre funk from beyond the arc at home. They connected on two of a season-low 10 attempts from three putting them at 18.6 per cent in their last four home games.


"We had a couple lapses we forced them to take some tough shots in the first half. They got second chance points and there goes your good defensive efforts. They seemed good in all three quarters and thats a little bit cuz you work hard in the first and you miss shots and they found a way to scramble and get the basketball, throw it out and get an outstanding three. We havent shot well from the three point line in the first half and they end up with 20 second-chance points. You got to finish the job at the defensive end but thats a tough defense to cover because we got a hard time keeping guys in front of us and theyre very good one on one players. - Jay Triano


Sun., Dec. 13 vs. Houston Rockets
12:30 PM ET (CBC, FAN 590)

The Raptors end the week with a visit from Aaron Brooks and the Houston Rockets on Sunday afternoon. Toronto has lost two straight overall buy have won the last two at home against the Rockets, including a 107-97 victory on Jan. 2 of last season. Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh both averaged 22.0 ppg and shot a combined 36-for-66 (.545) from the field in two contests against Houston last season.

The Numbers
6-5 The Raptors record at home following Friday's loss
0-8 Raptors record when their opponent shoots 50 per cent or better
20-8 Second chance points favouring the Hawks
55-31 Bench scoring favouring the Hawks
2 Number of wins for the Raptors against teams with winning records this season
They Said It...
Chris Bosh "Everybody has to learn from the situation and you can't point the finger. Everybody has to raise their hand and take accountability. That is what a team is all about."Chris Bosh
Mike Woodson "It's our defence and rebounding of the ball the last three games that has really set the stage for how we've been playing. That's how it should be. You defend, you rebound, you go down and have fun on the offensive end."Hawks head coach Mike Woodsonon his team's recent groove
Jarrett Jack "They are able to keep their scoring going regardless of who's out there. We just have to be able to match them when we play teams of that calibre." Jarrett Jack on the Raptors' second-quarter
Fantasy Alert
5.5 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.6 APG

Notes: Maurice Evans really provided a big boost off the bench for the Hawks on Friday. The veteran scored 15 points off the pine (6-9 FGM-A), with three makes from behind the arc and five rebounds.
\Chris Bosh
23.9 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 1.7 APG

Notes: It wasn't a stellar night for Chris Bosh in terms of scoring (14 pts) or turnovers (5), but he still shot well from the floor (6-10 FGM-A), grabbed 10 boards to give him 21 double-doubles on the year and added three assists.