Hawks 100, Raptors 87

BY foxsports • February 3, 2011

Joe Johnson has needed about 11/2 months to get his shooting touch back.

Considering that he underwent right elbow surgery and missed nine games in December, Johnson believes his patience has paid off.

"I've been taking my time," he said. "My body is feeling pretty good now."

Johnson scored a season-high 37 points, Josh Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks beat Toronto 100-87 Wednesday night for the Raptors' 13th straight loss.

The Hawks have won two of three and five of eight.

Toronto's losing streak is the team's longest since it dropped 13 in a row from Feb. 12-March 7, 2002.

"We need one, just for everybody," Raptors guards Jose Calderon said. "We've been working really hard."

Amir Johnson scored 20 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16 for Toronto, which dropped to 5-22 on the road.

The Raptors didn't arrive in Atlanta until Wednesday morning because of a Midwest snowstorm that kept them stuck in Indianapolis since Monday and forced them to check into the same hotel three times.

At one point, the team's charter flight sat on the runway for five hours before returning to the gate.

Toronto began the third quarter on a 10-0 run that ended with Calderon's baseline layup and a 55-54 lead, the Raptors' first since early in the first quarter.

Toronto got close on Amir Johnson's transition layup to cut the Atlanta lead to 84-77 with 8:34 left in the game.

Just 4:21 later, Johnson's backdoor layup ended a 12-1 run that put the Hawks ahead 96-78.

"We pretty much dictated how we wanted the game to be played," Johnson said. "We had a mental lapse in the second half. We were able to pick it back up and close the game out."

Johnson, who added eight assists, finished 15 for 21 from the field, including 5 for 8 on 3-point attempts. Over his past 14 games, Johnson has averaged 26.8 points.

"When he caught the ball in the low block he shot over top of us," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "When we tried to bring somebody else or collapse him a little bit, he picked us apart with guys spreading the floor and hitting 3s."

Al Horford finished with 12 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Hawks, who improved to 16-7 at home, where they have won 13 of 15.

Horford played 36 minutes despite missing practice Monday with a sore right ankle, an injury that sidelined him two games Jan. 21 and 22.

Smith played nearly 41 minutes despite a swollen right knee, which he hyperextended in a blowout loss to New Orleans on Jan. 21. He returned to practice Tuesday after missing Monday's session.

Atlanta has won four straight over the Raptors overall, six in a row at Philips Arena.

Toronto, which began the night ranked 25th in defensive scoring, allowed 100 points for the ninth straight game. The Hawks had 30 assists.

"It was tough tonight defensively just because we couldn't stop Joe," Triano said. "I want our guys to be a little more accountable man-to-man. I'm not going to bail them out and let them play zone."

Smith's dunk over Ed Davis with 6:35 remaining made it 88-78, and the Hawks led in double figures the rest of the game.

Sonny Weems and Andrea Bargnani each scored 12 for Toronto.

Notes: Hawks G Maurice Evans, who scored 12 points, started his second straight game as Marvin Williams served the second of a two-game suspension for fighting. ... Toronto reserve G Jerryd Bayless scored six points in 15 minutes before leaving with a sprained right knee. ... Raptors G Leandro Barbosa (hamstring), F Reggie Evans (foot) and F Linas Kleiza (knee) did not make the trip.

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