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(Friday, November 1st)
Final Score: Atlanta 102, Toronto 95
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - After a lackluster opener in Dallas, Al Horford was a handful in his home debut.
Horford had 22 points and 16 rebounds in the Atlanta Hawks' 102-95 triumph over the Toronto Raptors to give new head coach Mike Budenholzer his first win.
"It's a good feeling," Budenholzer said of the win. "But I mostly feel good for our group because of how hard they've worked for the entire coaching staff. Just the energy, the effort, the focus and intensity they bring every day, that's gives me a good feeling."
Horford tallied just 11 points and five boards in Wednesday's 118-109 loss to the Mavericks, who shot 57.1 percent and 11-of-24 from beyond the arc.
Jeff Teague registered 17 points and 12 assists for Atlanta, which won two of its three meetings against Toronto last season.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with a career-high 31 points, while Rudy Gay netted just 14 points on 6-of-23 shooting (26.1 percent).
Atlanta led by as many as 18 in the third quarter, but DeRozan single-handedly helped the Raptors crawl back in it in the fourth. DeRozan, who had 10 points in the final frame, had all eight Toronto points during a mini 8-2 surge midway through the quarter to pull the Raptors within 88-83.
A bit later, after Kyle Lowry split a pair from the foul line to cut the gap to 89-84, consecutive buckets by Horford and Paul Millsap increased the spread to 93-84 with 3:22 to go.
Toronto never got closer than six the rest of the way.
The Hawks, who led 25-24 after the opening frame which saw 17 lead changes, began to pull away late in the second.
After Gay nailed a pair of free throws to give Toronto a 37-36 edge -- its final lead of the contest -- with 2:47 left until the break, Atlanta closed the half on a 13-2 run.
"We can't give them a big run to where it's going to be tough for us to fight back," DeRozan said of Toronto's struggles late in the first half.
DeMarre Carroll, Cartier Martin and Pero Antic drained triples during the surge, which was capped by Teague's steal and dunk right before the horn for a 49-39 Atlanta advantage heading into the locker room.
Atlanta had a 79-68 advantage after three.
There were just four lead changes after the first quarter ... Atlanta was 36- of-77 (46.8 percent) from the floor and 10-of-23 (43.5 percent) from beyond the arc ... Lowry had 16 points and four assists.
11/02 02:06:59 ET