Game Preview: Raptors at Hawks
Toronto Raptors (11-7) @ Atlanta Hawks (4-15)
When: Saturday, November 25, 7:30 P.M. ET
Where: Phillips Arena
Broadcast info: TSN, SN590
The Raptors fell 105-99 in their final meeting against the Hawks last season. Dennis Schroder scored 26 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter as the Hawks held off a 28-point effort from DeMar DeRozan, and 18 points from Serge Ibaka. Though Toronto led by a point after three quarters, it was a back-and-forth game throughout the fourth. The victory gave the Hawks the season series 2-1, with both of Toronto's losses coming on the road.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: Delon Wright is out for Toronto with a right shoulder injury. For Atlanta, the statuses of Mike Muscala (ankle), and Luke Babbitt (back), are unknown while Isaiah Taylor is out with a retinal tear in his right eye.
Back-to-back: Saturday's game in Atlanta will be a back-to-back for both teams. While Toronto fell to the Pacers in Indiana on Friday, the Hawks defeated the New York Knicks 116-104 in Atlanta. Dennis Schroder led Atlanta with 26 points and eight assists, Dewayne Dedmon added 16 points and Marco Belinelli added 15 off the bench.
Closing it out: After opening their current three-game road trip with a disappointing loss in New York, the Raptors suffered the same fate in Indiana against the Pacers. In both games, the team held first-half leads before allowing their opponents to come back and take over late. With two disappointing losses lingering, closing out the trip properly, with a win in Atlanta before returning home, would help to provide some distance from those losses.
Third-quarter slump: The Raptors need to fix their third quarters. In New York, the Raptors were blown out 41-10 in the third quarter, and an 11-point halftime advantage turned into a 20-point deficit after three quarters. The swing wasn't as intense against the Pacers, but again, the Raptors went from up 10 at the half, to down one heading into the fourth, after getting outscored 31-20 in the third quarter.
Taking care of the ball: In addition to lacklustre third quarters, turnovers have also been on the rise for Toronto on this trip. The Raptors had been averaging 13.8 miscues per game, but turned it over 15 times against the Knicks, leading to 21 points scored. Things got worse against Indiana, where the Pacers scored 30 points off 20 Toronto miscues.
Wasted effort: Kyle Lowry had a brilliant game on Friday, but it was wasted in the loss. Lowry played 40 minutes against Indiana, scoring 24 points on 6-for-12 shooting, including 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. He added 10 rebounds and eight assists to go with three steals in a strong effort on both ends of the floor.