Game Rap: Raptors 121, Hawks 125

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

IT WAS OVER WHEN

Dennis Schroder made one of two free throws with 6.7 seconds remaining to put the Hawks ahead by four and extinguish Toronto’s chances of completing a 19-point comeback. The Raptors fell behind early, spent the second half playing catch up and fell short, dropping a 125-121 decision to the Hawks two weeks after collecting a dominating 44-point victory against the same Hawks team.

DEFENCELESS START

It didn’t take long for the Hawks to establish that Friday’s game would not be a repeat of the first meeting between the two teams. Atlanta got off to a red-hot start against the Raptors, shooing 58 percent in an opening quarter where Toronto didn’t defend or rebound the basketball. Prior to tipoff, Dwane Casey spoke about his team needing to do a better job on the boards. The Hawks dominated the glass in the first quarter, holding a 14-3 edge in rebounds. Despite eight points apiece from Lowry and DeRozan, Toronto trailed 35-27 after the first quarter.

FRUSTRATIONS BUILDING

Things didn’t get any better for Toronto in the second quarter as the team struggled to contain the Hawks offence and failed to fall into their normal rhythm. Kyle Lowry had a 16-point half, but it was overshadowed by an 18-point, nine-rebound half from Dwight Howard as the Hawks — thanks to shooting 56 percent — held a 69-52 edge at the halftime break.

CLOSE BUT NOT CLOSE ENOUGH

DeMar DeRozan opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run of his own to help cut into the Hawks lead. A trio of free throws from DeMarre Carroll got the Raptors within five, but Toronto struggled to close the quarter, allowing Atlanta to go on a 9-4 run to build the lead back up to 13 heading into the fourth. In the final quarter the Raptors outscored Atlanta 39-30 as they managed to get within four points late, but too many defensive breakdowns and too many offensive rebounds at inopportune times prevented the Raptors from completing the comeback.

RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME

Kyle Lowry scored 27 points in 37 minutes against the Hawks. He shot 9-for-16 from the floor, 6-for-8 from the three-point line and 3-for-6 from the free throw line. He added two rebounds and six assists and the Raptors were a +17 when he was on the floor. Over his last 10 games Lowry has shot 64 percent from beyond the three-point line. DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 34 points on 15-for-26 shooting in 37 minutes of action. He made 4-of-6 free throws and added five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot.

UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME

Cory Joseph scored 17 points off the bench on 7-for-12 shooting, including 1-for-1 from beyond the arc and 2-for-2 at the free throw line. He played 27 minutes and added four rebounds and four assists. Patrick Patterson played 35 minutes, scored 10 points, shot 4-for-8 from the floor and did all of the little things. He added five rebounds, two assists and two steals while recording a team best +18 in the loss.

THAT'S A RAP…

“We scored enough points. 121 points, shooting 54 percent, 47 percent form three. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where our problem is. They shoot 53 percent, 44 percent (from three), (we) got outrebounded 44-28, we didn’t set the tone until the second half. We’ve got to have defence in the game. We can score. I’m not worried about our scoring, but until we individually make a decision to guard your man, my man, we’re going to be an up and down team.”
- Dwane Casey summing up a loss in a game where defence was lacking

BY THE #’S

44…Rebounds for the Hawks, 28 for the Raptors. Atlanta also dominated the offensive glass, holding a 15-8 edge as Dwight Howard’s seven offensive rebounds leading the way.

62…Points in the paint for Atlanta compared to 46 for the Raptors.

36…2nd chance points scored by the Hawks, just 14 for the Raptors.

55…percent shooting for the Raptors, 54 percent shooting for the Hawks. In a game where the offence produced more than enough points to win, Dwane Casey’s calls for defence stood out loud and clear.

51…Points scored by Dwight Howard and Dennis Schroder on a combined 18-for-25 field goals.

THEY SAID IT…

“They executed extremely well. They got on us in the first half. They built a big lead, took advantage of it. We made a lot of mistakes, we out them on the free throw line a lot, we couldn’t rebound when we needed to and they took advantage of it.”
- DeMar DeRozan on Toronto’s miscues

"First, myself and the guards have to rebound. that's about it. The guards can help rebound. Stop worrying about it, once the ball goes up, box out and go get the ball. I think when we go to our smaller lineups everyone has to rebound and focus in on helping [on] the boards more."
- Kyle Lowry on the team needing to be better at rebounding

“That was the ball game. It’s everybody. It’s not just one guy, it’s not just the big guys. It’s everybody combined guarding their position. Shot goes up, getting their man off the board and starting from the first quarter. We can’t wait until the second half the way we did. We scored 69 points in the second half, enough to win, but you got to start setting the tone in the first quarter.”
- Dwane Casey on Atlanta’s offensive rebounds and his team not playing a full 48 minutes

“We play in so many games, but that doesn’t take away the effort we could've brought. We brought it in the second half, but we didn’t bring it like we were supposed to in the first half and they took advantage of it..”
- DeMar DeRozan on the importance of playing a full 48 minutes

UP NEXT:

The Raptors will take on the Magic in Orlando on Sunday at 6 P.M. ET.

Game Highlights: Hawks at Raptors - December 16, 2016

Watch highlights from Friday's match-up between the Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks.

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Game Highlights: Hawks at Raptors - December 16, 2016

Watch highlights from Friday's match-up between the Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks.
Dec 16, 2016  |  04:02