NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 18th (All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (37-28) at Atlanta Hawks (30-35), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks will carry a four-game winning streak into action Tuesday night when they welcome the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors to Philips Arena.
The Hawks haven't lost in 10 days and the run includes two home wins and two road wins.
On Monday, the Hawks extended the streak with a 97-83 road drubbing of the Charlotte Bobcats. That victory got Atlanta within 1 1/2 games of those Bobcats for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Paul Millsap netted 28 points and the Hawks continued their recent dominance over the Bobcats. Monday's win was the 11th consecutive for Atlanta over its Southeast Division rivals.
Pero Antic tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta. Kyle Korver and Mike Scott donated 10 points apiece, and Jeff Teague handed out a game-high nine assists.
The Hawks were eight points clear at the start of the fourth quarter, but a 14-4 spurt to start the final frame put the game away. DeMarre Carroll scored all nine of his points during that run.
"DeMarre really sets the tone for us," said Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer. "With his activity and his energy, everybody kind of feeds off that."
The Raptors had a two-game winning streak halted Sunday afternoon when the Phoenix Suns flew north of the border and left with a 121-113 victory.
Kyle Lowry finished with 28 points and 13 assists, while Terrence Ross and Amir Johnson donated 22 and 20 points, respectively, for the Raptors, who have won five of their last seven.
DeMar DeRozan netted 17 and Jonas Valanciunas added 15 for Toronto, which allowed the Suns to shoot 50.7 percent from the field.
"Every night this time of the year the physicality gets bigger and as a result you get upsets since the stakes are higher," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "We have to play physically on defense and offense and take care of ourselves. We can't expect officials to bail you out."
Despite the setback, the Raptors are three games clear of the Brooklyn Nets for the lead in the Atlantic Division. Toronto is one game in front of the Chicago Bulls for the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors will complete this short road trip Wednesday night in New Orleans versus the Pelicans.
Toronto and Atlanta have split two matchups this season with the home team surviving each time. The Hawks are 14-4 in their last 18 against the Raptors and 9-2 in the previous 11 meetings as the host in this series.
03/18 10:21:04 ET