Fatigue finally catches up with Raptors
TORONTO—Two up-tempo quarters left the short-handed Toronto Raptors with nothing in the tank for the second half—and the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks made them pay.
Jeff Teague had 19 points and 10 assists as Atlanta pulled away after the break en route to a 109-87 rout of the Raptors, earning a split of their home-and-home series.
The Hawks (36-25) cruised from there to remain tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with the Orlando Magic, who defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 113-100 earlier yesterday.
Ivan Johnson had a team-high 21 points off the bench while Joe Johnson added 18 in the victory, which officially secured the Hawks a post-season berth.
DeMar DeRozan led the way with 22 points for the Raptors (22-40), who were coming off impressive wins over Boston and Atlanta and kept things close last night before being overwhelmed by a healthier and more seasoned Hawks’ club.
Toronto was playing without four of its veteran regulars, including leading scorer Andrea Bargnani and starting point guard Jose Calderon.
Raptors’ head coach Dwane Casey suggested the demands of a condensed schedule—and roster to match—finally may be catching up with his team.
“Our disposition was a little different [Monday] than it was [Sunday] for reasons I don’t know,” he said.
“I thought we ran out of gas having a shortened roster.”
Elsewhere, Indiana dumped Minnesota 111-88, New Orleans beat Charlotte 75-67, Orlando downed Philadelphia 113-100, Miami edged New Jersey 101-98, Washington shaded Chicago 87-84, and Denver trimmed Houston 105-102.
Utah topped Dallas 123-121 (3 OT), Phoenix bounced Portland 125-107, San Antonio bombed Golden State 120-99, and the L.A. Clippers beat Oklahoma City 92-77.