The Raptors held a slim advantage for most of the fourth quarter, but the Hawks regained a lead with 1:20 to play. The lead swung again after Amir Johnson used a three-point play with 45 seconds remaining to put the Raptors up 101-99.
Toronto had a chance to cushion that lead after Atlanta missed three straight shots, but Johnson was called for an offensive foul. On a set play out of a timeout, Mike Bibby then drilled a contested three from the top of the arc with eight seconds to play, which proved to be the game-winner after misses from Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani.
Jamal Crawford continued to feast on the home side at ACC -- scoring 25 points in the first half before adding 11 more in the fourth quarter, including a clutch three late, to finish with a game-high 36 points.
"Our defense I thought was as low energy as it has been all year," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "We were able to stay in it offensively because he made some shots. He hit the huge three near the end. He shot that thing from almost half court. He knows what I expect of him and tonight he kept us around that first half and then we found a way at the end."
Wednesday's result was an unfortunate end to an otherwise brilliant night for Leandro Barbosa, who continuously hit big shots at key moments and finished with his best overall performance of the season (26 points, 11-16 FGM-A, four rebounds, five assists and three steals).
Only three of his attempts were three-pointers and the majority of his damage came courtesy of his blistering speed and strong finishing ability at the rim. Wednesday's performance now brings the Blur up to an average of 19.2 ppg over his last five contests.
"I thought it was a little slow at first but as the game progressed it became a very good basketball game and we were able to score. We had a hard time stopping their shooters. (Jamal) Crawford got it going a bit and we went to the zone a lot in the second half and we were able to slow them down. When you’re in the zone you are sometimes susceptible to outside shots and our zone was extremely effective and it gave us an opportunity to win the game."
- Jay Triano, on the game
Wed., Jan. 14 vs. Detroit
7 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590
The Raptors close out their homestand and open a back-to-back against the Pistons on Friday. These two teams have had a bizarre season series to date, with the Raps earning the largest comeback in franchise history in Detroit on Dec. 11 followed by a blowout loss at home on Dec. 22. Detroit has lost seven of nine, including a 107-99 loss to Memphis on Wednesday,
|31-12||Free-throw attempts favouring the Hawks|
|60-38||Points in the paint favouring the Raptors|
|30||Three-point attempts from the Hawks (nine made)|
|4||Games in a row the Raps have shot .500 or better from the field (.543 vs. Hawks)|
|21||Games Leandro Barbosa had led team in bench scoring this season|
|"The illegal screen, I guess it was a good call, the guy fell and it was a flash screen so it could have went either way. It was a tough call."|
- Amir Johnson, on the late offensive foul call
|"We did that against the Clippers. Mike (Bibby) has hit so many big shots in his career and we feel comfortable putting him in that position and he is very comfortable being in that position."|
- Jamal Crawford on the game-winner
|"It’s going to be tough for all of us to sleep knowing that we had the game and that we did a good job. I think we’re starting to know that we definitely can go far and I think in this game it was really important everybody hustled."|
- Leandro Barbosa, on bouncing back