- Associated Press - Saturday, December 3, 2016

TORONTO (AP) - A balanced attack was the difference in a matchup of teams heading in opposite directions.

DeMar DeRozan had 21 points, and Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson each added 17 in the Toronto Raptors’ 128-84 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

It was Toronto’s sixth straight win, and Atlanta’s sixth loss in a row.

“Everybody’s an elite scorer here,” said Raptors forward Terrence Ross, who had 15 points, including three 3s, as Toronto (14-6) took the lead for good midway through the first quarter. “Tonight was just one of those nights everybody had it going.”

Lowry also had eight assists and eight rebounds to help Toronto tie Cleveland for the Eastern Conference lead. The NBA champion Cavaliers will be in Toronto on Monday night in an Eastern Conference Finals rematch.

Dennis Schroder had 15 points and six assists for the Hawks (10-11), Dwight Howard had 10 points and 17 rebounds, and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15 points. The Hawks are 1-9 in their last 10 games.

“There’s not a lot to say,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. “They thoroughly outplayed us, credit to them. That’s it.”

The Raptors were up by 15 at the half and led 86-70 after three quarters before turning it into a laugher early in the fourth quarter. Both teams, playing on back-to-back nights, turned the final minutes into a game for the reserves.

The 44-point win was the largest margin of victory in franchise history.

“I thought the first six, seven, eight, nine minutes of the third quarter was kind of back and forth competitive and then it got away from us,” said Budenholzer. “The fourth quarter is the fourth quarter.”

On the night, Toronto hit 58 percent from the field, including 13 for 24, or 54 percent, from 3.

“Like I always say, it’s cliché, but it’s a make or miss league,” said Toronto head coach Dwane Casey. “Guys are making shots, making their shots. The ball’s finding energy moving.

“They are trying to double team Kyle (Lowry) and DeMar (DeRozan) and they’re finding people and the ball is finding the right person.”

The Hawks shot 40 percent from the field, including 7 for 28, or 25 percent, from 3.

“We just have to stop getting frustrated with each other,” said Howard. “I think we got a little frustrated at times on the floor and it showed.

“I think we need to do a little better job holding our composure and understand that it won’t like this the whole season.”

TIP-INS:

Hawks: Forward Paul Millsap missed his third straight game due to a left hip injury. Schroder had 15 points, the 19th time in 21 starts he’s scored in double figures. Forward Kris Humphries, who came in averaging 4.0 points, scored 10 off the bench for the second straight game.

Raptors: Forward DeMarre Carroll had 10 points, the ninth time in the past games he has reached double figures in scoring. Toronto had 60 points in the points in the paint to 36 for the Hawks. The Raptors led in bench scoring 64-38.

DOUBLE DUTY:

Howard had 10 points and 17 rebounds for his 627th career double-double, the most among active NBA players.

RAINING 3S:

The Raptors hit 13 3s, tying a franchise record with 10-plus 3s in six straight games.

HE SAID IT:

“I just think we need to get out of our own heads. You’re frustrated, you miss a shot you’re like,’Oh man, I can’t make a shot’ or ‘Oh man, I just messed up again.’” - Howard of the Hawks’ slide.

UP NEXT:

Hawks: Host Oklahoma City on Monday night.

Raptors: Host Cleveland on Monday night.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide