NBA

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Hawks-Raptors Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The Toronto Raptors haven't played this well before the All-Star break since Chris Bosh's final season north of the border, but in no way does that mean they're satisfied.

They'll look to head into the long weekend on a positive note by ending a five-game home losing streak to the struggling Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Toronto (27-25) leads the Atlantic Division by three games and is enjoying its best run before the break since going 29-23 in 2009-10. It is coming off a 108-101 home victory over New Orleans on Monday after dropping three of four to end a five-game road trip.

Patrick Patterson - starting in place of the injured Amir Johnson - scored a season-high 22 points, while Kyle Lowry added 19 and 12 assists.

''There's no one on this team that's not focused. There's no one on this team that's not ready to play,'' said Patterson, who may start again Wednesday with Johnson nursing an ankle injury. ''We have to go into (the game against Atlanta) with the same mentality that we had (Monday).

"Nobody can focus on the All-Star break, no one can focus on getting away and being with family. We have to handle what we have here and get things done.''

DeMar DeRozan, who also scored 22 points against the Pelicans, won't get as much time off as he's headed to New Orleans to compete in the 3-point contest and All-Star game for the first time in his five-year career. He stressed the need to head into the break with a solid showing at home.

Toronto has gone 10-3 at Air Canada Centre since losing eight of its first 12 there.

''We dropped a lot of games earlier in the season at home,'' said DeRozan, who has averaged 23.8 points while shooting 54.5 percent in his last six against Atlanta. ''We really took the onus to understand that we've got to take advantage of home court, and that's what we've been trying to do.''

The Raptors have lost seven of the last eight home meetings with Atlanta and dropped the first matchup this season 102-95 on the road Nov. 1 despite DeRozan's 31 points.

The Hawks, though, head into this contest on a season-worst four-game skid after falling 100-85 at Chicago on Tuesday. Paul Millsap scored a team-high 15 points for Atlanta (25-25), which has averaged 86.5 points during its skid - well below its season average of 101.8.

''We just have to stay together,'' Millsap said. ''Get back to playing our style of basketball. We feel like we have not played at our pace in the last few games.''

Atlanta was outrebounded 57-28 and ranks near the bottom of the league with a minus-3.2 differential. It made a charge in the second half, though, pulling to within eight points with 8:47 remaining after trailing by as many as 25.

''I think the second half is what we expect from our group, what we expect of each other, and the challenges to find a way to play that way for 48 minutes,'' coach Mike Budenholzer said.

The Hawks haven't lost in Toronto since Bosh hit a jumper in the closing seconds of a 106-105 defeat March 17, 2010, but they've dropped three of their last four on the road heading into this contest.

Tagged: Hawks, Raptors, DeMar DeRozan

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..