Preview: Toronto At Atlanta
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
The Toronto Raptors have played just six home games this season, but strong play on the road is a big reason the Raptors reside atop the Atlantic Division. Toronto looks to win for the eighth time in 13 road contests Wednesday when it plays at the Atlanta Hawks, and the Raptors hope they do not have to grind through another close contest down the stretch.
Toronto lost 107-102 on Sunday at home to Phoenix, snapping a four-game winning streak and marking the 11th time in 18 games the Raptors have been in a five-point game with two minutes remaining. “We find ourselves in that position a little bit too much,” Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan told reporters after Sunday’s game. The Hawks have alternated wins and losses in their past seven contests, holding off Oklahoma City 106-100 at home Monday as forward Paul Millsap and center Al Horford each posted double-doubles. “We’re learning … that when a team is making a run, not to get rattled,” Millsap told the media after his 26-point, 11-rebound performance.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TSN (Toronto), FSN Southeast (Atlanta)
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (11-7): DeRozan tied a season high with 29 points on Sunday, and with guard Kyle Lowry gives Toronto the only pair of teammates in the Eastern Conference averaging more than 20 points (DeRozan 21.2, Lowry 20.7). Former Atlanta standout DeMarre Carroll, who signed with the Raptors in the offseason, is averaging a career-high 13.1 points after scoring 20 on Sunday. The Raptors have allowed fewer than 100 points 12 times, going 9-3 in those contests.
ABOUT THE HAWKS (12-8): Millsap is having a fantastic season, averaging 18.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists (all career-best marks). Point guard Jeff Teague has found his stride again after missing three games with an ankle injury in mid-November, scoring 20 or more points three times in his past four games while averaging 5.3 assists. Atlanta ranks in the top five in the league in assists per game (25.5) and free-throw shooting (80.6 percent).
1. Atlanta C Tiago Splitter missed his fifth straight game on Monday with a right hip injury.
2. DeRozan is 12 points shy of 8,000 for his career and is third in franchise history behind Chris Bosh (10,275) and Vince Carter (9,420).
3. Toronto won three of four meetings with the Hawks last season, sweeping both matchups in Atlanta.
PREDICTION: Hawks 102, Raptors 99