With Atlanta buried under an unusual blanket of snow and ice, the Hawks stayed cold on the road while facing a surging Toronto Raptors team at the Air Canada Centre. A four-game skid grew to five Wednesday night in the final contest before a merciful midseason All-Star break, as the Raptors flew by the Hawks, 104-83.
Not so long ago in the three slot in the Eastern Conference, Atlanta dropped to a full game below .500 as East playoff spots two through eight continue to jumble, remaining in a tight pack behind Indiana and Miami. First-time NBA All-Star Paul Millsap got off to a hot start for the Hawks (7-4-3 in first quarter), as Atlanta led to end the opening quarter and only trailed by one at the half.
Kyle Korver pushed his NBA record three streak to a full hundred-and-twenty games, but the offense was just not there for the road team. Canada’s finest eventually heated up and blew the game wide open.
The Raptors made multiple tough shots in the second half, but the Hawks also routinely yielded easy deuces on Toronto offensive rebounds and fast breaks. At one point, Atlanta went a full ten minutes with only a single bucket. Having notched a paltry sixty-five points with ten minutes remaining, in what was once a close game, the Hawks only cracked seventy with five minutes left.
Conversely, NBA All-Star DeMar DeRozan dropped thirty-one himself with a barrage of three point shots and virtually indefensible floaters. Considered an All-Star snub by some, point guard Kyle Lowry nearly perfects the Toronto backcourt pairing by playing a precision two-man game with DeRozan.
Atlanta had no answer and licks its wounds heading into All-Star weekend. ATL all day will have coverage of the spectacle in New Orleans, so stay locked.
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