Raptors Suffer Second Blowout Loss To Hawks This Season

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December 11, 2009

TORONTO (CP) -- The last time the Toronto Raptors played Atlanta it wasn't pretty. Friday night's game was closer, but the result was the same.

Joe Johnson led all scorers with 20 points as the Hawks continued their domination over Toronto with a 111-89 victory at Air Canada Centre.

``Everybody has to raise their hand and take accountability,'' said Chris Bosh, who finished with 14 points and had 10 rebounds for Toronto.

``That is what a team is about.''

Johnson also chipped in five assists despite not playing in the fourth quarter and logging only 27:23 minutes for the game.

That showed how much control the Hawks had, even if they didn't match the 146-115 trouncing in Atlanta nine days earlier _ the second-highest point total the Raptors have ever conceded.

Toronto led by eight early in Friday's game but by the time the first quarter was over they were down by two and on their way to their second successive loss after winning three in a row.

Raptors head coach Jay Triano said Atlanta's 20 second-chance points was a big factor.

``We had a couple of lapses,'' Triano said. ``We forced them to take some tough shots in the first half and they'd get second-chance points. And there goes your good defensive effort and it seemed like they were all three-pointers.

``We've got to finish the job at the defensive end.''

Centre Andrea Bargnani, who missed the previous game with an ankle injury, led Toronto with 17 points. But the news wasn't so good for point guard Jose Calderon, who missed the two previous games with a hip injury.

Calderon entered the game with 2:57 left in the first quarter and the Raptors still leading 20-18 but was limited to 7:20 with two points and two assists before re-aggravating the injury. He was having tests after the game and Triano said he might miss more time.

Jarrett Jack, who started at point guard for Toronto had 13 points, while Hedo Turkoglu added 12 of his own.

The crowd of 17,032, which began to boo at times late in the game, saved some cheers for Sonny Weems, who provided 10 points from the bench in 17:49 of action.

The Hawks, who have four wins in a row over the Raptors dating back to last season, got 15 points each from Jamal Crawford and Maurice Evans. Evans was 3-for-5 on three-pointers, missing twice in the fourth quarter. Zaza Pachulia had 14 points.

The 16-6 Hawks and the 10-15 Raptors meet twice more this season.

The Hawks shot 51.8 per cent from the field and were 9-for-18 from three-point range. The Raptors shot 48.6 per cent from the field and were 2-for-10 on three-pointers.

``Our offence that had been rolling for a while is stalled a little bit right now,'' Triano said. ``We just don't seem to want to take the three. We seem hesitant with our shots ... I'd like to take 20 to 25 threes and we took 10 tonight and that's not enough.''

Antoine Wright hit a buzzer-beating floating jumper from 22 feet at the end of the first quarter to bring the Raptors to within two points at 29-27.

The Raptors had taken an 18-10 lead after Jack made the free throw on a technical foul against Atlanta coach Mike Woodson with 3:59 to play.

Evans, who was 3-for-3 on three-pointers, and Johnson each scored 13 first-half points to help put the Hawks into a 61-48 lead at the intermission.

Bargnani led Toronto in the first half with 11 points and Jack had 10 points.

Atlanta continued to control the game early in the second half and Johnson had his 20 points and five assists by the time the Hawks opened a 75-55 lead with 5:49 left in the third quarter. It was 89-71 after three.

``Our second unit was huge tonight,'' Woodson said. ``This is three straight games they've played unbelievable.''

Evans said the Hawks were aware that the Raptors would be trying to make up for the lopsided loss in Atlanta.

``They came out with an embarrassing loss and that sparked them to have a three-game win streak when they left. We knew they really wanted to avenge that loss.''

Notes: Friday was the fifth annual Canada Basketball Night at the ACC, a celebration of the sport in Canada. ... The Raptors play the Houston Rockets on Sunday afternoon at the ACC.