Game Rap: Raptors 105, Hawks 97

Toronto Raptors Community Manager

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

IT WAS OVER WHEN

Kyle Lowry hit a skyhook with 1:34 remaining to put Toronto up by 14 and secure the team’s 50th victory of the season. Toronto would go on to beat the Atlanta Hawks 105-97, marking the first time the franchise has ever topped 50 wins in a single season. The victory moves Toronto to 50-24 on the season with eight games remaining.

ROSS RETURNS, SCOLA SITS

Terrence Ross returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games with a sore left thumb. He played well in his return, shooting 5-for-10 from the floor to lead the reserves with 13 points in 23 minutes. Luis Scola sat against the Hawks, resting a sore left knee. Jason Thompson started in his place.

RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME

It seemed fitting that longest-tenured Raptor DeMar DeRozan had a fantastic game agains the Hawks in the team’s 50th win of the season. DeRozan has been with the franchise throughout its rebuilding years and relishes the opportunity to be in the record books. He finished Wednesday’s contest with a game-high 26 points on 9-for-16 field goals, including 3-for-4 from deep, and 5-for-6 at the free throw line. DeRozan added five rebounds, six assists, and three steals and was a team-best +16.

UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Another game, another time to shine for rookie Norman Powell. After Dwane Casey called a timeout in the third quarter after Toronto’s 13-point halftime lead was trimmed to five, Powell went on a personal 5-0 run to boost the lead back to double figures. He knocked down two 3-pointers in the quarter and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor for 10 points, including a crossover that led to a thunderous slam that got the Air Canada Centre crowd on its feet. Powell finished with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 25 minutes as he continues to impress teammates and coaching staff.

THAT'S A RAP…

“It means a lot. This group, like I tell everybody, is going to go down in the record books. That’s big. You can never take that away. We have the opportunity to build on it. That’s honestly the beauty of it. It says a lot, man. We had a tough year last year. We just wanted to come back and be a better team. We’re still working toward that.” - DeMar DeRozan on reaching 50 wins for the first time

BY THE #’S

24…Points was Toronto’s largest lead of the game.

26…Assists for the Raptors on 36 made field goals. Kyle Lowry led the way with a game-high 11 assists to go with 17 points and six rebounds. Although Lowry struggled from the floor as he continues to play through a sore elbow, he found other ways to contribute, setting up his teammates time and time again.

14…Steals for Toronto, compared to just three for the Hawks.

18…Turnovers for Atlanta, leading to 25 points for Toronto. In comparison, Toronto turned the ball over 11 times, leading to 12 points for the Hawks.

THEY SAID IT…

“35, 48, 49, 50 [wins in each of the last four seasons]. Pretty good progression. I think everyone in this organization that’s been here has built it up to be a winning organization. I think we’ve been on the right track and continuing to grow. We’re not just satisfied with 50 wins. It’s a great benchmark to get, but at the end of the day we still want to be playing as long as possible. As close as possible to the end of the whole NBA season.”
- Kyle Lowry on finally reaching 50 wins
“For our organization, for the program we’re growing, I think it’s a good step for us. I told the team we’re not done yet but it’s an accomplishment they can’t take away from you. We have to continue to grow and get better in different areas to fry the bigger fish.”
- Dwane Casey on setting a new franchise-record for wins in a season
“Just be aggressive. That’s my style. When I see one person in front of me, I automatically think a bucket. Just be aggressive and go to the rim and try to tear the rim down.”
- Norman Powell on what he was thinking in transition before throwing down another dunk
“It says a lot. Our leader, our point guard is fighting through it and not making one excuse. Nobody else has any excuse. If you’re out there and have your jersey on, you’ve got to give it all you have. I’m the only person who can pick on him and tell him that there’s nothing wrong with him.”
- DeMar DeRozan on Kyle Lowry playing despite a sore elbow

UP NEXT:

Up next: The Raptors will head to Memphis to kick off a two-game road trip against the Grizzlies on Friday at 8 P.M. ET.

Game Highlights: Raptors vs. Hawks - March 30, 2016

Watch highlights from Toronto's 105-97 home win over Atlanta on Wednesday.

Video Playlist: Hawks @ Raptors March-30th-2016

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Game Highlights: Raptors vs. Hawks - March 30, 2016

Watch highlights from Toronto's 105-97 home win over Atlanta on Wednesday.
Mar 31, 2016  |  03:14

Raptors Post-Game: Dwane Casey - March 30, 2016

Head coach Dwane Casey addresses media following Toronto's 105-97 home win over Atlanta on Wednesday.
Mar 30, 2016  |  03:49

Raptors Post-Game: Norman Powell - March 30, 2016

Norman Powell speaks with media following Toronto's 105-97 home win over Atlanta on Wednesday.
Mar 30, 2016  |  01:27

Raptors Post-Game: DeMar DeRozan - March 30, 2016

DeMar DeRozan speaks with media following Toronto's 105-97 home win over Atlanta on Wednesday.
Mar 30, 2016  |  05:25
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