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Toronto Raptors overpower Hawks 139-109


TORONTO – Pascal Siakam had 31 points and 12 rebounds and the Raptors routed Atlanta 139-109 on Monday, Toronto’s seventh consecutive win over the Hawks at Scotiabank Arena.

Scottie Barnes was masterful at point guard in place of injured all-star Fred VanVleet en route to 21 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

Gary Trent Jr. had 21 points, O.G. Anunoby finished with 14 points and six steals, Chris Boucher chipped in with 11 points and Precious Achiuwa had 10 for Toronto (4-3).

Dejounte Murray led Atlanta (4-3) with 20 points.

On the heels of an ugly 112-90 loss to Philadelphia on Friday, the Raptors led for most of the night, and were up by as many as 17 points late in the third quarter, before taking a 95-80 advantage in the fourth.

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A pair of Achiuwa free throws put Toronto ahead by 20 points less than a minute into the fourth quarter, before Murray’s driving layup sliced the difference to 15. But the Raptors answered every Hawks run, and when rookie Christian Koloko — who earned his first NBA start — slashed to the hoop for a dunk, the basket gave Toronto a 24-point lead, much to the delight of the capacity Scotiabank Arena crowd of 19,800 fans.

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Fans chanted “M-V-P!” when Siakam connected on two free throws with 5:22 to play. The baskets put Toronto up by 29, and coach Nick Nurse emptied his bench at that point.

The Raptors shot 50 per cent from the field, and 41.2 per cent from behind the arc. They committed just seven turnovers, while forcing 18 Hawks giveaways, for 24 points.

Barnes hit three consecutive three-pointers in less than a minute in the first quarter, and Boucher’s three-pointer with 3:07 left in the frame capped a 7-0 run that put Toronto up by 11. They led 34-28 to start the second.

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Young’s three midway through the second quarter saw the Hawks go up by three points, but Barnes’ three-pointer was the exclamation mark on a Raptors’ 20-4 run that had them back up by 13. Toronto headed into the halftime break leading 64-53.

The Hawks pulled to within a point early in the third quarter, but their momentum was short-lived, and when Trent connected on a pair of free throws late in the frame, the Raptors went ahead by 17, their biggest lead to that point.

VANVLEET OUT

VanVleet will have to wait another game at least to make up for his 0-for-11 shooting night in Friday’s loss to Philadelphia. He sat out Monday’s game a day after he was unable to practise due to lower back stiffness.

“Thought he’d be ready to go tonight, but was not,” said Nurse.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

The game marked the first time AJ Griffin, the son of Raptors’ assistant Adrian Griffin and a rookie with the Hawks, faced his dad’s team in an NBA game.

“It’s pretty cool, especially for Griff, Griff and I are pretty close,” Nurse said. “We watched a lot of Duke basketball (where AJ played) last year. He’s proud … He’s a very, very nice young man. When the ball goes up, we’ve got to make sure he doesn’t shoot it open, because he can shoot.”

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UP NEXT

The Raptors head to Texas for games in San Antonio on Wednesday and Dallas on Friday. They’re back home to host DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

The Hawks head to New York and play the Knicks on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2022.

&copy 2022 The Canadian Press





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