Observations from the Hawks’ 112-78 loss to the Raptors


The Atlanta Hawks lost their seventh home game of the season with a 112-78 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, just one night after a dramatic come-from-behind win over the New York Knicks.

Here are a few notes about the loss: 

1. Schroder led the Hawks with 14 points

Dennis Schroder led the Hawks in scoring, followed by Taurean Prince and Marco Belinelli with 10 points apiece.

Belinelli had eight of the Hawks’ 25 points in the first quarter, shooting 2 of 3 from 3-point range.  

2. Hawk trailed by as much as 45

The Raptors (12-8) snapped their two-game losing streak against the Hawks by outscoring the Hawks by 34 points.

The Raptors averaged 109.4 points entering Saturday’s game,  fifth-best in the NBA. The Hawks allowed opponents an average of 108 points, 24th in the league.

Ersan Ilyasova said the Hawks’ energy didn’t match that of the Raptors, but that wasn’t due to the physical game the Hawks played against the Knicks on Friday.

Ilyasova, who finished the game with two points, said playing a physical game less than 24 hours before facing the Raptors isn’t an excuse because the Raptors played on Friday as well.

“Obviously, the way we came out in the first half was low energy and I think they outworked us and played with more effort than we did. ... We have to be much better moving forward in the beginning of the games because when they build up that kind of lead, it’s hard to close,” Ilyasova said. 

Saturday’s game was the first of four matchups this season between the teams. The Raptors come back to Atlanta on Jan. 24 and the Hawks will travel to Toronto on Dec. 29 and March 6. 

3. Raptors went on 21-3 second-quarter run 

The Hawks trailed the Raptors by one point less than a minute into the second quarter. However, a 21-3 run by the Raptors pushed the deficit to 19 points over the next four and a half minutes.

Eleven of the points on the massive run were by Norman Powell and four were by Jakob Poeltl. 

The Hawks took a timeout after the run to readjust, but the deficit only got larger - much larger - as the game went on.

“Our defense was just, they were shooting 64, 68 percent at the half, you know, they’d hit enough 3’s to make you worry about that and they’d kick it in drive,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I feel like our defense, not just in the paint but everywhere, was just not good enough for an NBA game tonight.” 

4. Hawks trailed by 28 at the half

The Hawks were unable to stop a scoring surge by the Raptors in the second quarter and eventually trailed 67-29 to start the second half.

The Raptors shot 64.3 percent from the field and 50 percent beyond the arc in the first half, compared to the Hawks who shot 34.2 from the field and 26.7 beyond the arc.

Budenholzer said he gave credit to Toronto’s toughness and talent on display in the first half.

“It just wasn’t a good night for us,” Budenholzer said. 

Before the Hawks could score their first points of the third quarter, the Raptors expanded their lead to 36 points. 

Taurean Prince scored the Hawks’ first points of the second half with a 3-pointer with 8:45 remaining in the quarter. 

5 Hawks went 8 of 21 in third quarter

After scoring only 29 points in the first half, the Hawks scored 19 in the third quarter, hitting 38.1 percent of their shots from the field.

The Hawks also only recorded four rebounds in the third quarter, while the Raptors had 17 rebounds and racked up 32 points.

“I think we were just really slow on everything offensively and then kind of ended up playing a lot of one-on-one against length and shot blocking in the paint,” Budenholzer said. “We got to move better. There’s multiple things we could do and we probably didn’t do any of them well tonight.” 

6. Hawks got out-rebounded 

The Raptors recorded 46 total rebounds against the Hawks, 11 offensive, while the Hawks could only muster 32 rebounds, 15 of which were during the fourth quarter when all Hawks’ main players were out. 

The deficit in rebounding started in the first half where the Hawks recorded 13 total rebounds to the Raptors 21. 

7. DeRozen limited from the field

Although the Hawks trailed by as much as 45, the Raptors leading scorer DeMar DeRozen was limited.

DeRozen entered Saturday’s game averaging 24.1 points, but was limited to two points. DeRozen shot 1 of 5 from the field and missed his only 3-point attempt.

Raptors guard Kyle Lowrey was limited in the first half, but finished the game with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Lowrey, who averaged 15.7 points entering Saturday’s game, was held to one-point in the first 16 minutes of the game, but hit two 3’s in under one minutes of playing time. 

8. Raptors had seven players shoot in double figures

Twenty four hours after the Hawks had seven players finish with double figure scoring against the Knicks, the Raptors had seven players finish the game with double digit points.

The Raptors finished the game shooting 46 of 84 from the field and 40.6 percent beyond the arc, 50 percent beyond the arc before all the key Raptors exited the game in the fourth quarter.

Powell was the Raptors’ high scorer, finishing the game with 17 points off the bench. Center Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points. 

9. Bembry energetic second night in a row

DeAndre’ Bembry was easy to see in his 16 minutes on the floor against the Knicks on Friday night because of his effort and aggression on the floor.

With Isaiah Taylor out with a right retinal tear, Bembry has filled the role off the bench. Bembry missed the first 14 games of the season recovering from wrist surgery.

Against the Knicks, Bembry went 1 of 7 from the floor for two points with three rebounds and one steal.

On Saturday, Bembry shot 2 of 4 for four points.

Bembry’s aggression could be seen in the second quarter when he blocked Raptors 7-foot center Poeltl's layup and then sped down the court to make a driving layup with an assist from Marco Belinelli. 

10. Raptors 9-2 run to start the game

The Raptors went on a 9-2 run to begin the game at Philips Arena.

Four points were by Valanciunas and a 3-pointer by OG Anunoby.

The Raptors were on a 6-0 run before Dennis Scroder scored the Hawks’ first points of the game with a jumper after 3:35 had passed in the first quarter.

The Hawks were able to tie the game at nine points with 6:31 remaining in the first quarter.

The Hawks have four days off before returning to Philips Arena to host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. 


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