In the wake of a franchise-altering trade, the Raptors were without the departed Jose Calderon and Ed Davis as well as Jonas Valanciunas, Andrea Bargnani, Linas Kleiza, and Mickael Pietrus due to injury. However, the Hawks managed to appear more like that team without half of their rotation but were able to eek out a 93-92 win.
Atlanta clearly came out flat from the onset. Passive transition defense coupled with a lack of urgency to box out made for a 10 point deficit at halftime. The Hawks got outrebounded 28-14 in the first half to a team without one of their best rebounders, Ed Davis, and various other bigs. Toronto finished the game with a 52-36 edge there, including 15-3 on the offensive glass. Aaron Gray matched his season high for rebounding with 10…in the first half. 10 was also the number of first half turnovers for the Atlanta Hawks.
In the third quarter, the Hawks put together a 7-0 run out of the games behind some timely steals and transition finishes. From there, the turnover-fest continued until the final buzzer. Both teams combined for 34 turnovers, 17 a piece, and both teams looked like they just underwent a franchise changing trade, although only one did.
Credit the Raptors for hanging in there under difficult circumstances. John Lucas III had a big game in Jose Calderon’s absence with 19 points off the bench on 16 shots. Kyle Lowry was also 3 rebounds from a triple double. Gray and Johnson finished with 25 combined rebounds, including 9 on the offensive glass.
The last few seconds will be talked about among the Raptors blogs out there for a while, I would wager. There was a mad scramble with 13 seconds left. Kyle Korver knocked away the ball from DeMar DeRozan and then dove on it. However, it was fumbled and Alan Anderson got off a long jumper that went begging. DeRozan was able to dive into the paint and grab the offensive rebound, but he putback was blocked (read: fouled) by Al Horford, who subsequently heaved the ball up the court to seal the win. Maybe this is a shift in the Hawks karma, who have been on the wrong side of it for much of their history.
Despite supposedly being cleared for tonight’s game, Anthony Morrow did not see court time. However, he reassured the fans of his health:
Yea I’m 100% healthy now
— Anthony Morrow (@MrAnthonyMorrow) January 31, 2013
Hopefully, better days are ahead once Morrow and Zaza Pachulia return to the rotation, but tonight’s win was as far from reassuring as a win can be. Next game is at home against the Chicago Bulls.
1. Al Horford: He had a quiet but efficient double double with 22 points on 15 shots and 10 rebounds. He also had 6 assists and no turnovers, a rarity among the Hawks that played tonight.
2. Josh Smith: Josh had a similar double double to Horford, and include 3 each of the blocks, assists, and steal category.
3. Kyle Korver: “Shooters shoot! Shooters shoot the ball!” Shooters apparently also rebound the ball and play good defense.