The Atlanta Hawks go for their 11th straight win Friday night as they continue their road trip with a matchup against the Toronto Raptors. The Hawks have lost just eight times over the first 39 games of the season but two of those losses have come at the hands of the Raptors.
The last time these two teams faced each other was in late November when the Raptors defeated the Hawks 126-115 at Philips Arena. Atlanta rattled off nine-straight wins following that loss and have won 24 of their last 26 games. A stifling defense has played a huge part in the Hawks' success and the team is playing at a much higher level now than they were when these last two teams met.
The Raptors have enjoyed their own good start to the season and come into Friday's game with a 26-12 record and 4.5 games behind the Hawks. They endured a stretch of 21 games without shooting guard DeMar DeRozan who was out with a groin injury. DeRozan returned to the lineup on Tuesday and finished with 20 pionts to help lead Toronto to a 100-84 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Atlanta won the first two stops on its current road trip defeating Philadelphia and Boston with Mike Budenholzer resting his starters.
Friday's game will feature another wonderful matchup at the point guard position between two players who are deserving of All-Star consideration in Toronto's Kyle Lowry and Atlanta's Jeff Teague. Lowry is averaging 20.3 points, 7.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 44 percent from the field. It was Lowry that shouldered much of the load for the Raptors during DeRozan's absence. Teague has been instrumental during Atlanta's 10-game winning streak averaging 20.9 points and 8.2 assists while converting on 52 percent of his field goal attempts.
Game Date/Time: Friday, January 16, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM