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Valiant effort falls short for Hawks in 119-116 loss to Raptors

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NBA: Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks returned to State Farm Arena after a one-game road stint on Friday in Detroit, when they were routed by the Pistons for their fifth straight loss, with four of the five losses being by 16 or more points. The back-to-back against a tough Eastern Conference foe, the Toronto Raptors (who had not played since Wednesday night), did not do the Hawks any favors as they continue to endure the toughest part of the schedule.

Cam Reddish remained out for the second straight night (sprained wrist), while John Collins (suspension) and Kevin Hurter (shoulder) also remained out.

The Hawks led 10-8 half way through a slow first quarter, with each team missing a few open looks in the early moments.

The scoring picked up a bit in the later moments of what was a competitive first period of basketball. Young had seven points in the first on 3-3 shooting with three assists, as well as three rebounds, as Atlanta led 27-26 heading to the second quarter.

A 10-0 run by the Hawks put them up 37-29 with under nine minutes remaining in the opening half.

Toronto used the rest of the period slowly climbing back within a point of the lead with 2:22 remaining in the half.

Atlanta closed the half on a 10-2 run to make it a nine-point lead at the break.

Young finished the half with 16 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, while Fred VanVleet had 14 points for Toronto.

Atlanta was able to maintain their lead in the opening moments of the third, as a steal and layup from Young made it a ten-point Hawks lead (capping a 9-2 run) with 7:52 to go in the quarter.

A 15-7 Toronto run over a 3:35 span cut the Hawk lead to only two (79-77) at the 4:17 mark in the third.

The Raptor run was extended to 15-1 as Toronto took a four-point lead with just over two minutes left in the third before a three from De’Andre Hunter (his second triple of the period) cut it back to one. Hunter stayed hot late in the third (13 total points in the quarter), carrying the offense with Young off the floor.

The Raptors outscored the Hawks 35-29 in the third, but Atlanta managed to carry a 90-87 lead to the closing quarter with help from a buzzer-beater from Vince Carter.

Earlier in the fourth, things flipped in Toronto’s direction. The Raptors used an 14-4 run to take a 102-94 lead and it was one that the visitors would never fully relinquish.

Jabari Parker converted a three-point play to stop the bleeding with five minutes to go, giving the Hawks some hope with a five-point deficit, and that was quickly followed by another (deep) three from Young.

That brought the Hawks within a 104-100 margin and, after a stop on the defensive end, Atlanta had a chance to make it a one-possession game. The home team failed to capitalize, though, and the Raptors quickly pushed the advantage back to 108-100 with 3:17 to go.

Atlanta failed to score on the first possession after a timeout and, when Pascal Siakam converted a layup to push the margin back to double figures, it was seemingly all but over. The Hawks had other ideas, though, stringing together a 13-4 overall run to cut the margin to three (shout-out to De’Andre Hunter) and eventually trailing by a 118-116 margin. After Toronto’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson split a pair of free throws, the Hawks had a chance to tie the game with 4.5 seconds left but, when an impossibly deep three from Young went begging, Atlanta suffered its sixth straight defeat by a final score of 119-116.

Young finished with 30 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds in a bounce back performance after struggling a bit in Detroit and, for good measure, he notched the second triple-double of his career. Hunter came on strong in the second half, scoring 26 points, knocking down six threes and carrying the offense late in the third quarter when Young was off the floor.

Siakam led the way for Toronto with 34 points, while VanVleet poured in 25 points and nine assists of his own for the visitors.

The Hawks will be back in action at home Monday night for a contest with the Minnesota Timberwolves.