Tonight the Raptors try for their first 50-win season in franchise history as they host the Atlanta Hawks.
(45-30) Atlanta Hawks @ (49-24) Toronto Raptors
Probable starting line-ups:
Atlanta – PG – Jeff Teague SG – Kyle Korver C – Al Horford SF – Kent Bazemore PF – Paul Millsap
Toronto – PG – Kyle Lowry SG – DeMar DeRozan C – Jonas Valanciunas SF – Norman Powell PF – Luis Scola
Atlanta – PPG – Paul Millsap 17.2 RPG – Paul Millsap 8.7 APG – Jeff Teague 6.0
Toronto – PPG – DeMar DeRozan 23.6 RPG – Jonas Valanciunas 9.2 APG – Kyle Lowry 6.5
Team Scoring: (with league ranking in parentheses)
Atlanta – PF – 102.9 (13th) PA – 98.9 (6th)
Toronto – PF – 102.9 (14th) PA – 98.5 (5th)
The Atlanta Hawks have won 4 straight and 12 of their last 14 games after a 102-100 victory at the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. Starting point guard Jeff Teague led the team with 26 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. He shot 9 of 18 from the field and 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Starting center Al Horford tallied a double-double as he poured in 14 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. He also had 3 assists. He was 6 of 11 from the field and 2 of 4 from the free throw line. Backup point guard Dennis Schroder came off the bench to net 14 points. He was 6 of 10 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Starting shooting guard Kyle Korver produced 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. He shot 4 of 10 from the field, 2 of 2 from the free throw line, and 2 of 5 from the 3 point line. Starting power forward Paul Millsap also notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He also had 6 blocks and 3 assists. He was 4 of 12 from the field, 2 of 2 fro the free throw line, and 1 of 3 from the 3 point line. The team shot 42.4% from the field, 89.3% from the free throw line, and 22.7% from the 3 point line. They attempted 28 free throws and made 25 of them. They were out-rebounded 68-53. They had 22 assists in the game. They had 12 blocks. They scored 17 fast break points and 44 points in the paint. Their best quarter was the 2nd as they outscored the Bulls 30-14. Tonight is their 39th road game of the season. They are 21-17 on the road thus far. They are 9-6 versus Atlantic division opponents this season. After tonight they go home for a 4 game home stand. Their next game is Friday at home versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Toronto Raptors have dropped 3 of their last 4 games after a 119-100 defeat at home versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday evening. Starting shooting DeMar DeRozan led the team in scoring with 19 points. He also had 5 assists and 2 rebounds. He shot 8 of 22 from the field and 3 of 3 from the free throw line. Starting small forward Norman Powell tallied 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He was 7 of 13 from the field and 4 of 7 from the 3 point line. Starting point guard Kyle Lowry netted 14 points. He also had 4 assists and 2 rebounds. He was 4 of 14 from the field, 4 of 8 from the free throw line, and 2 of 8 from the 3 point line. Backup power forward Patrick Patterson came off the bench to score 13 points. He also had 3 rebounds and 2 blocks. He shot 4 of 6 from the field, 3 of 3 from the free throw line, and 2 of 4 from the 3 point line. Starting center Jonas Valanciunas chipped in with a double-double as he scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. He was 5 of 13 from the field. The team shot 40.9% from the field, 69.6% from the free throw line, and 33.3% from the 3 point line. They missed 7 of their 23 free throw attempts. They were out-rebounded 62-51. They had 7 blocks in the game. They only turned the ball over 9 times. They scored 11 fast break points and 48 points in the paint. After 3 quarters they trailed 97-74. Tonight is their 38th home game of the season. They are 28-9 at home thus far. They are 12-3 versus Southeast division opponents this season. After tonight they go on the road for 5 of their remaining 8 games. They are 2-2 in their previous 4 home games. Their next game is Friday at the Memphis Grizzlies.
Toronto was victorious in their first 2 meetings with Atlanta this season. The Raptors have won the last 3 meetings with the Hawks. After tonight the 2 teams play 1 more time this season: April 7th at Atlanta.
The Hawks have surged in to the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs race, 1 game ahead of the 4th seeded Heat and 1.5 games ahead of the Celtics and Hornets. Meanwhile, the Raptors are still the 2nd seed in the East, 2.5 games behind the conference-leading Cavaliers. The Raptors are 1 win away from setting the franchise mark with their 50th win in a single season and tonight is the evening that I think they finally accomplish the feat.
Take the Raptors +1.5 (1.90) (Bet365)
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