NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 8th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (11-63) at Toronto Raptors (30-44), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Raptors will attempt avoid playoff extinction this evening, when they host the lowly Atlanta Hawks at Air Canada Centre.
Toronto would need a miracle to get into the postseason, as it currently sits seven games behind the eighth place Philadelphia 76ers in the standings. Either a loss or a Philadelphia win over Cleveland this evening would seal the Raptors' fate.
The Raptors haven't done themselves any favors as of late, losing two straight and 12 of 18 since the start of March. Toronto's recent woes continued on Wednesday, as they fell 104-74 to the Memphis Grizzlies in their friendly confines.
Jalen Rose netted 19 points and Chris Bosh chipped in 15 points and 10 boards for the Raptors, who have dropped six of their last eight games. Morris Peterson recorded 13 points in the setback.
Toronto shot just 34.6 percent from the field, including 4-of-15 (.267) from three-point range. The Raptors did manage to hit 16-of-19 (.842) from the free throw line, but were outrebounded, 49-30, in the defeat.
Toronto has hit at least one three-pointer in 524 straight games, the longest such streak in the NBA.
The loss was the worst for Toronto since it was pounded by Chicago, 123-86, on February 19, 1998. That game was played at SkyDome.
Raptors forward Donyell Marshall was limited to 13 minutes of action in the defeat after suffering an Achilles' injury. Marshall is not expected to play this evening.
Toronto, which is closing out a three-game homestand this evening, have dropped their last three home tilts. For the year, the Raptors are 21-15 at home.
Atlanta has dropped 13 consecutive games and 29 of its last 31 since the beginning of February. The Hawks' struggles were extended on Tuesday, as they fell 96-86 to the New Orleans Hornets at Philips Arena.
Tom Gugliotta and Tony Delk finished with 18 points apiece for Atlanta, while Josh Smith recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Tyronn Lue tied a career-high with 11 assists in the losing effort.
Atlanta's Al Harrington missed the game with tendinitis in his right knee. Harrington was placed on the injured list on Thursday, leaving the Hawks without their top scorer for at least their next five games.
The Hawks own the worst road record (3-34) in the league, including four straight losses. Atlanta has won just once on the road since December 10 against Detroit.
Toronto has won two of three and seven of the last nine meetings overall in this set. Atlanta has lost eight of its last 10 at Toronto.
04/08 10:10:03 ET