The Atlanta Hawks lost to the Toronto Raptors tonight by a score of 128-84, falling to 10-11 and extending their losing streak to six. After a 9-2 start, Atlanta has now lost eight out of its last nine.
While the Hawks put up a decent effort for most of the game, the Raptors controlled it from start to finish. Toronto led 32-22 at the end of the first quarter, 62-47 at halftime, and 86-70 at the end of the third quarter. Mike Budenholzer cleared the bench with about nine minutes remaining in the fourth, essentially conceding after Atlanta failed to mount a comeback.
This was always going to be a difficult game to win. Even without accounting for the team’s recent struggles, playing an away game against the Raptors (without Paul Millsap) on the end of a back-to-back is a difficult situation.
It’s difficult to say what exactly the reason for this loss was. The team struggled to shoot throughout the contest, turned the ball over numerous times, and failed to contain DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry (21 and 17 points, respectively).
Even without Paul Millsap, the team’s performance was somewhat concerning. As important as Millsap is to this team, issues like poor shooting and turnovers won’t necessarily vanish when he returns. Having their best player back will be a boost for the Hawks, but it’s doubtful that his presence would have changed anything tonight.
From here, the Hawks will return to Atlanta to play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. After another home matchup with the Miami Heat on December 7, the team will travel to Milwaukee on December 9.