Raptors playing role of playoff spoilers
DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and Rudy Gay finished with 22 as the Toronto Raptors easily defeated the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks 113-96 at Philips Arena on Tuesday.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 points, Amir Johnson and John Lucas chipped in with 11 apiece while Kyle Lowry handed out 11 assists for the Raptors who have won four consecutive games all against teams that are headed to the NBA postseason.
“(Our team) did a good job having the rhythm offensively, taking what the game gave them,” Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said.
Kyle Korver put up 13 points to lead the Hawks, who dropped into a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Bulls with one game remaining in the regular season.
The loss dealt a blow to the Hawks’ attempt to secure the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Both the Hawks and Chicago have 44-37 records.
The Hawks travel to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks on Wednesday in their final game of the regular season. The Bulls finish the season with a home game against the Washington Wizards.
Mike Scott came off the bench to finish with 12 points and 12 rebounds and Ivan Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks.
“Shots will fall or not fall, but [we have to] play better defensively and with more energy,” Scott said.
Shelvin Mack added 11 points and Jeff Teague had nine assists in less than 19 minutes of action in the loss.
The Raptors will miss the postseason for the fifth straight season but they have been playing the role of playoff spoiler of late by winning six of their last seven.
They finish out the season with a home game on Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics, who had their Tuesday home game against Indiana cancelled due to the twin blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday that killed three and injured over 100.
The Hawks have now won two of three contests against the Raptors this season and are 8-2 in their last 10 games against Toronto at home.