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Hawks pull away from Raptors late for important win

Advantage Hawks.

In what could come to a tiebreaker for playoff position, the Hawks won the season series from the Raptors with a 105-99 victory Friday night at Philips Arena.

The Hawks won two of the three games between the teams. The Raptors are currently fourth and the Hawks fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks pulled to within two games of the Raptors in the standings.

The Hawks used a 10-2 run late in the fourth quarter to pull away in a game where neither team led by more than four points until 2:13 remained.

The Hawks (36-29) have won two straight and completed a six-game homestand at 3-3.

Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 26 points. He scored 13 of the Hawks’ final 19 points. Paul Millsap had 21 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 points and Dwight Howard had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The Raptors (38-27) were led by DeMar DeRozan with a game-high 28 points. Jonas Valanciunas added 11 points and 12 rebounds.

The Hawks took a 49-48 lead into intermission as neither team led by more than four points in the first two quarters. Millsap had 13 first-half points, including 11 of the Hawks’ 18 first-quarter points.

The Hawks got zero points from their bench in the first half. The reserves were 0 of 6 in 32 minutes. Thabo Sefolosha, who did not start after being late to pre-game walkthrough, scored early in the third quarter for the first bench points.

The Raptors held a 75-74 lead headed into the fourth quarter with still no team with more than a four-point lead.

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