USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Hawks fell behind early but came all the way back to defeat the Toronto Raptors 93-92.
The Atlanta Hawks rally late and steal one at hom defeating the Toronto Raptors 93-92 Wednesday night at Philips Arena. The Hawks struggled out of the gate, rallied in the third quarter and still needed a go-ahead bucket from Al Horford in the game's final moments to pull out a victory.
To steal one of Larry Drew's favorite phrases, the Hawks came out with zero energy and it nearly cost them an embarrassing loss to a severely undermanned team. Toronto learned just prior to tip off that they were involved in a three-team trade that sent Jose Calderon to the Pistons and Ed Davis to the Grizzlies in exchange for Rudy Gay. That left the Raptors with nine healthy bodies to go up against the Hawks.
The Hawks came out sluggish and trailed 23-20 after one. The Raptors extended the lead with an 18-8 run to close the half with a 55-45 advantage. Toronto outworked Atlanta on the glass all night running up a 52-36 rebounding advantage.
Atlanta climbed back into the game in the third quarter outscoring the Raptors 30-14 to take a 75-69 lead into the fourth. However, the Raptors wouldn't go away and battled back in front. The Hawks went ahead for good when they scored on a familiar high/low play out of a time out where Josh Smith found a wide open Al Horford for a dunk that put Atlanta up 93-92 with just over 20 seconds remaining. The Raptors got three looks at the basket late with the Hawks unable to secure the rebound and got away with what looked like a foul on DeMar DeRozan's final attempt.
Horford led the Hawks with 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Horford hit 10-15 shots including the go ahead bucket on their final possession. Josh Smith added 20 points and 11 rebounds while Kyle Korver chipped in 17. Korver went 5-9 from three-point range and extended his consecutive games streak with a made three to 39.
For more on this game and the three-team trade be sure to check out Raptors HQ