The Hawks were able to notch their fifth straight win beating the Raptors 118-113 in overtime. Jeff Teague tied a career-high with 34 points on 11-of-18 shooting (11-for-11 from the free throw line) and added five assists and three rebounds. Despite a tough start, Paul Millsap found a way to impact the game in a number of ways to get his first career triple-double with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Hawks vs. Raptors
The Raptors jumped out early and led by as many as 13 in the first quarter thanks to 11 points and four rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas finished with 16 points and five rebounds, but foul trouble and an eventual sprained back injury forced him to leave the game after only 20 minutes of playing time. The Hawks shot a dismal 6-of-24 (25%) in the first quarter, but got a late spark from Shelvin Mack off the bench who had five points in the quarter to keep the Hawks within range of the Raptors.
In the second quarter, the shots that weren’t falling for the Hawks early started to drop and Teague got aggressive as he erupted for 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting, with all of his makes coming within 10 feet of the hoop. The Hawks outscored the Raptors by nine in the second and took a tie game into halftime.
The game yo-yo’d back and forth from the 5:52 mark of the second quarter as neither team could establish more than a five point lead for the final 34:52 of the game. In the third quarter, the two teams traded buckets, with the Hawks grabbing a narrow two-point edge heading into the fourth.
Atlanta had a lead from 4:42 in the fourth until there were 8.1 seconds left when Kyle Lowry drove to the hoop and got a fading layup to fall from high off the glass. The Hawks final possession ended with a contested Millsap jumper from 17 feet that bounced off the rim as the clock expired.
Pero Antic couldn’t get a three to fall in regulation, going 0-for-4 from deep, but he got the first shot of the overtime period and drilled a wide open three from the corner that gave the Hawks the lead. The Raptors answered back with a John Salmons three-pointer, but missed their next six shots of the overtime period, and despite the Hawks only made one of their next six shots they were able to hold the lead until the Raptors were forced to foul.
The Hawks made all seven of their free throws in overtime to seal the win, and bad fouls by Amir Johnson on offense and Terrence Ross prior to the subsequent inbound pass sealed the Raptors’ fate.
Kyle Korver had 16 points on an unusually inefficient 5-of-14 (3-for-8 from three) shooting night, but had back-to-back important threes in the beginning of the third quarter after Toronto took a four point lead, and another late in the fourth. Korver missed some looks that he normally knocks down — particularly a pair of good looks in overtime — but as always his spacing and the threat of him behind the arc was a big part of the Hawks offense and Teague’s ability to penetrate.
Teague had 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and he and Lowry had quite a duel going late in regulation. The two traded baskets on six straight possessions with about three minutes left in the game. As to whether he was fueled by Lowry going at him, Teague shrugged it off saying it was just the two competing for their teams, not necessarily against one another.
“He was trying to win and do what he could for his team. I was just doing the same thing. It looked like , I guess.”
As to what made Jeff so successful, he and Coach Bud pointed to his aggressive mindset.
“I was just trying to be aggressive,” said Teague. “We just wanted to win the game really bad. We’ve been playing well lately, so we just came out with a lot of energy and a lot of effort, and made plays at the end.”
“He was just being aggressive,” said Budenholzer. “That’s been one of the themes all year is that we want him to be aggressive. Sometimes that means he’s scoring, sometimes that means he’s finding others or he’s making a pass that leads to the next pass. He was in an aggressive mindset and attacking. He made a lot of good things happen for us, and to step up and make all of the free throws down the stretch is obviously really important and big for him.”
Cartier Martin and Mack led the bench unit with eight points each, while Elton Brand and Mike Scott each had six points and four rebounds. The bench wasn’t asked to play a lot with the starters all playing near 40 minutes (except Antic around 30), but gave the team a nice lift particularly in the late first and early second quarters. Martin hit a pair of threes in the second quarter and his hustle was on display when he flew over the bench into the Gatorade cooler to save a ball.
DeMarre Carroll had a quiet offensive night with eight points and four rebounds, but was enough of a presence against DeMar DeRozan on the defensive end late to keep him from being a factor in overtime. DeRozan finished with a team-high 29 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, but was just 1-of-4 in the overtime period — the make on a late dunk.
The Hawks move 4.5 games ahead of the Knicks for eighth in the East with the win, and pull within just one game of the Bobcats for seventh. The five game winning streak extends their season-long streak, and they will look to push it to six when they face the Pelicans at home on Friday.
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