Hawks Lose to Raptors 113-96, Tied With Chicago For #5 Seed
ATLANTA (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Rudy Gay added 22 and the Toronto Raptors ran all over playoff-bound Atlanta, routing the Hawks 113-96 Tuesday night.
The Raptors made two-thirds of their shots in the first half, sprinting to a 68-51 lead as DeRozan scored 19 points and Gay chipped in with 17. Atlanta went mostly with backups, showing no sense of urgency to claim the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta fell into a tie with Chicago for the fifth spot. The teams finish the regular season on Wednesday, with the Hawks traveling to New York to face the Knicks, while the Bulls are home against lowly Washington. Chicago holds the tiebreaker.
Kyle Korver led the Hawks with 13 points, extending his 3-point streak to 73 consecutive games.
Atlanta center Al Horford didn’t play, sitting out because of soreness in his left chest, and the rest of the Hawks took the night off as well — certainly at the defensive end.
Toronto ran right through the Hawks for too many dunks and layups to count, making 26 of 39 from the field in the opening half. Amazingly, the Raptors put up 68 points before the break while turning it over 11 times. It was like watching the Globetrotters against the Washington Generals, as Toronto set season highs for points in a half as well as a quarter, scoring 38 in the second.
The Raptors led 96-75 at the end of the third — matching their biggest lead — and DeRozan and Gay were able to spend the entire fourth quarter on the bench. Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 points, Amir Johnson had 11 and Kyle Lowry dished out 11 assists.
The Hawks are part of the only race left in the East, but they are playing like a team that wants no part of a position that might mean a possible meeting with the defending champion Miami Heat in the second round.
Then again, it may not matter where the Hawks finish. They are limping to the end of a season that will be surely be followed by major changes, with coach Larry Drew and much of the roster — including Josh Smith — in the final year of contracts. Atlanta has lost 14 of its last 25 games, hardly a team on a roll heading to the playoffs.
About the only bright spot was Korver, who hit a couple of 3-pointers in the opening minutes to keep his franchise-record streak alive. Rookie Mike Scott and Ivan Johnson each scored 12 points, while Shelvin Mack had 11.
Toronto’s Terrence Ross appeared to reinjure his left ankle late in the game when he landed on an Atlanta’s player’s foot. He hobbled off the court and didn’t return.
NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game to honor victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. … The Hawks rested G DeShawn Stevenson. … Valanciunas returned after missing two games with a whiplash-like condition. … Toronto closes the season Wednesday at home against Boston. … The Raptors improved to 16-16 since acquiring Gay from Memphis. … The only Hawks starter to play more than 20 minutes was center Johan Petro. Smith played only 12:44 and spent the entire second half watching from the bench, a towel covering his head.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.