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Raptors Fall To Hawks At ACC

Related: Box Score | Photo Gallery
Top Plays: Johnson Taking It Strong | Back-To-Back Blocks From Davis and Alabi | Davis' Big Block | DeMar's Nice Finish | James Johnson Rocks The Rim
Post Game: Dwane Casey | James Johnson | Amir Johnson | DeMar DeRozan

April 16, 2012

Two up-tempo quarters left the short-handed Toronto Raptors with nothing in the tank for the second half, and the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks made them pay.

Jeff Teague had 19 points and 10 assists as Atlanta pulled away after the break en route to a 109-87 rout of the Raptors, earning a split of their home-and-home series.

Teague torched the Raptors in the pivotal third quarter, scoring eight points and dishing out four helpers to help Atlanta pull away. The Hawks (36-25) cruised from there to remain tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with the Orlando Magic, who defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 113-100 earlier Monday.

Ivan Johnson had a team-high 21 points off the bench and Joe Johnson added 18 in the victory, which officially secured the Hawks a post-season berth.

DeMar DeRozan led the way with 22 points for the Raptors (22-40), who were coming off impressive wins over Boston and Atlanta and kept things close Monday before being overwhelmed by a healthier and more seasoned Hawks club. Toronto was playing without four of its veteran regulars, including leading scorer Andrea Bargnani and starting point guard Jose Calderon.

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey suggested the demands of a condensed schedule, and roster to match, may finally be catching up with his team.

"Our disposition was a little different (Monday) than it was (Sunday) for reasons I don't know," Casey said. "I thought we ran out of gas having a shortened roster."


"Teams are putting their best guys on him. They are committing two guys to him on pin downs. He’s doing a great job reading his options and getting to the free throw line versus settling for jump shots. I’ve seen a lot of growth from him this year as a player"
-- Dwane Casey, on DeMar DeRozan
"It's definitely important. It just shows that we can play with anybody. Even if we're down a man or two, we've got the ability to play with anybody in this league." "
-- DeMar DeRozan, on the undermanned Raptors finishing the season strong
"We did the exact same thing that they did. We let our heads down early when the fight was still on and we stopped our execution and it’s always going to lead to something bad like that."
-- James Johnson, on the difference from Sunday to Monday

Play in the paint told the story Monday: Toronto dominated inside in the first half, only to see the Hawks take control after the break. That, combined with 19 turnovers, ultimately cost Toronto the game.

Raptors forward James Johnson said his team should have been more aggressive getting to the basket in the second half.

"They did a good job packing the paint but that wasn't keeping (anybody) out ... we still had the backdoor," said Johnson, who finished with 18 points in a reserve role. "They had good denial defence and their help was better, but I think we still could have (gone) into the paint a lot more."

The point guard combo of Ben Uzoh and Gary Forbes also struggled in the loss, combining to shoot 5-for-23 from the field and doing little to harangue Teague on the defensive end.

The second-year Wake Forest alum converted a pair of three-point plays, both times resulting in a foul by Uzoh, that stretched a three-point lead to eight. The Hawks weren't challenged the rest of the way.

Casey said that Uzoh, who played 26 minutes on Sunday and 33 more on Monday, looked tired in the second half.


19 Raptors turnovers leading to 21 Hawks points
0-12 Raptors record at home this season when trailing after three quarters
25 Games this season where DeMar DeRozan has scored at least 20 points
3 New career-highs for Solomon Alabi in points (8), rebounds (9) and minutes (24)
3-24 Raptors record this season when their opponent shoots higher than 45 per cent

"He played big minutes and he wore down," said Casey. "That's why Teague was alternating with (Kirk Hinrich) and they were running at him in transition, and that's why I saw more fatigue in Ben."

Uzoh may have been exhausted, and judging by his 2-for-11 shooting performance, he was, but he found other ways to contribute by leading the team in both rebounds (10) and assists (eight).

"I can do a lot of things well," he said. "I'm a whatever-it-takes kind of guy. I just want to win."

Hawks head coach Larry Drew was impressed with how his team bounced back from Sunday's lopsided loss to the Raptors.

"I have all the confidence in the world with this team," he said. "(Sunday) night's game we laid an egg, but I challenged the guys to come back and more than anything just bring energy, the way we know we are capable of playing.

"I thought we did that right at the start."

Notes: Calderon was in uniform but was relegated to third-string duty. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said prior to the game that Calderon would only be used in an emergency situation, but added that the Spaniard wasn't being shut down for the season. ... The Raptors signed Uzoh and F Alan Anderson for the remainder of the season Monday. Both players' second 10-day contracts had expired. The club also declined to renew PG Justin Dentmon's 10-day contract. Dentmon appeared in four games with Toronto, averaging 5.5 points and 2.3 assists in 18 minutes. ... Hall of Famer and former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Roberto Alomar sat courtside.