NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 16th (All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (32-48) at Atlanta Hawks (44-36), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks will try to take another step toward securing the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference Tuesday night when they host the Toronto Raptors.
The Hawks lead the Chicago Bulls by one-half game in the race for the fifth seed. The Hawks have Tuesday's tilt with the Raptors and a road trip to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to take on the New York Knicks. The Bulls finish the season with a home game against the Washington Wizards.
The Hawks have won two in a row after dropping three straight. They crushed the Philadelphia 76ers, 124-101 on Wednesday, then toppled the Milwaukee Bucks at home on Friday, 109-104.
Atlanta fell 19 points behind, but clawed back for the victory.
"It was obviously not something we hadn't done before," said Devin Harris. "And obviously we put ourselves in a predicament. But we were able to fight our way through. About the third quarter we played with energy. Defensively we made some adjustments, but we brought more energy to what we were doing. We took care of the ball a lot better, got better shots at the basket and really got out in transition."
Jeff Teague and Josh Smith both scored 24 points, while Teague added 10 assists. Al Horford put up 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. Harris chipped in 19.
Kyle Korver went 2-for-5 from 3-point range and has made a 3-pointer in 72 consecutive games, which is the fourth longest streak in NBA history. Dennis Scott is next on the list with 78 straight games.
The Raptors have been playing good basketball of late with three consecutive victories and five in their last six. All three wins are against playoff-bound teams during this streak with two wins over the Chicago Bulls and a home win Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets.
In their 93-87 victory over the Nets, the Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan, who poured in 36 points, which was one off his career high. Rudy Gay had 26 points and 10 rebounds.
"Obviously it means nothing for the standings or our record next year. It's just the mentality that we're trying to start having - not giving up, working hard," Gay said. "This is a jumpstart for next year."
The Raptors will miss the postseason for the fifth straight season. They finish out the 2012-13 campaign with a home game Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics.
Tuesday's game time was moved back to 8 p.m. after the game between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers was postponed due to the tragedy at the Marathon on Monday. TNT will now broadcast this game in its place.
The Hawks have won both matchups this season, including one in Atlanta on Jan. 30. The Hawks are 8-1 in their last nine contests against the Raptors in Atlanta.
04/16 10:21:54 ET