The Atlanta Hawks limped down to Tampa Bay to battle the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday evening. The Hawks have managed to handle the Raptors this year, winning the previous two meetings between the Eastern Conference foes, including a fantastic win on a Tony Snell buzzer-beater three on March 11. The Hawks entered the game at 29-25, while the Raptors sit at 21-33, just outside the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. Eventually, though, Atlanta prevailed by a final score of 108-103.
Both teams were without their floor generals, as Trae Young, Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry were ruled out for the contest. The Hawks were also missing John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, Danilo Gallinari, Tony Snell, and Kris Dunn.
The first quarter started about as poorly as you’d expect offensively with this many talented players sitting in plain clothes on the bench. But things ironed out mid-way through the quarter for both teams, the Hawks found some success running the floor in transition.
The Hawks held the lead for most of the quarter, but the Raptors managed to fight back to even up the score at 20-20 with a little over two minutes left in the first.
The last two minutes of the quarter saw the game swing back and forth between the two teams, but it was Atlanta winning those minutes taking a 28-27 lead into the second frame.
Bask in some great vet > rook chemistry.
Clint Capela managed six points and six rebounds in the first quarter, with Pascal Siakam contributing 11 points for the Raptors.
The second quarter continued much like the end of the first, with both teams exchanging baskets. The Hawks found a little more offensive flow, with Kevin Huerter contributing some stability.
The Hawks found themselves with an 11-point lead and the Raptors calling a timeout with 4:27 left in the second quarter, following some amazing ball movement in transition for a wide open Boganovic three-pointer.
The Hawks carried that momentum into the half with a 12-point lead at 66-54. The Hawks shot 53% (24/45) in the half, with Huerter leading all scorers with 14 points, including this amazing buzzer beater for the last bucket of the half.
The Raptors shot 50% (22/44) from the field, with Siakam pouring 21 points in the half. The Hawks made ten free throws to the Raptors six free throws.
The Hawks stayed firm and consistent through the third quarter, maintaining an eight to twelve point lead for the majority of the frame.
The third quarter ended with the Hawks leading 90-78, continuing to be in control of both sides of the ball. Despite the Raptors shooting a better percentage in the quarter at 56% (10/18), the Hawks managed to maintain the same lead through the whole quarter.
The Hawks kept cruising through the first half of the fourth quarter. They kept their foot on the gas through the entire quarter, asserting themselves offensively like in plays like this.
But the Raptors made it interesting down the stretch, as rookie guard Malachi Flynn went on his own personal 12-0 run, hitting four straight 3-pointers. After Brandon Goodwin missed two free throws, another Flynn 3-pointer brought the Raptors within two at 105-103.
Fortunately, the Hawks held firm and were able to put the Raptors away 108-103, despite missing multiple key players.
Capela finished with 19 points and 21 rebounds, while Bogdanovic finished with 23 points. Siakam ended with 30 points, with Flynn chipping in 22 points, 15 of which were in the final frame.
This victory brings the Hawks to 30-25 on the year. Atlanta will next be in action Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks on TNT.