The Hawks had an uphill battle on their hands on Tuesday evening. Without the services of Bruno Fernando and Alex Len at center, and De’Andre Bembry off the bench, the team had to go up against the defending champion Toronto Raptors. In typical Hawks fashion, they lost the contest, but there was a promising individual effort.
John Collins had one of the best games of his season with a huge first half. He ended up finishing the game with 28 points and 12 rebounds on 11-14 shooting. It seems Collins has found his groove over the last few weeks since returning from suspension in late December and has been a big part of why the Hawks have looked much improved in January.
It was a quiet night from a scoring standpoint for Trae Young, especially in the first half, but that did not stop him from dishing 13 assists.
The rookie wings played well. De’Andre Hunter posted a 15-6-4 line. It took a while to get Cam Reddish going, but he ended up hitting four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. It was too little, too late at that point in the game, but when Reddish is on, he has been flashing superstar potential.
Vince Carter got off to a hot stretch in the first half against his former team. He will play his final game in Toronto a few games before the end of the regular season.
The Raptors were in control of this contest the entire way, and while the Hawks made things relatively close, the wheels fell off for Atlanta in the fourth quarter, and Charlie Browns’s two missed wide-open layups at the end of the game exemplified the Hawks’ efforts for the evening.
In the grand scheme of things, the Raptors took care of the glass against a Hawks team that struggled rebounding without two of their centers. Toronto ended up dropping 60 points in the paint. Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka had big nights, and Marc Gasol was even dominant in limited minutes. Kyle Lowry passed Jose Calderon to become the all-time assist leader for Toronto. And per usual, The Hawks defense was nonexistent all evening. Their 18 turnovers did not help matters much either. The result? The Raptors’ tenth straight win against the Hawks, tied for the second-longest win streak against a team in the NBA.