Siakam, Raptors hold off Hawks

Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors faces off for the tip-off against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena in Atlanta November 23, 2019. — AFP pic
Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors faces off for the tip-off against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena in Atlanta November 23, 2019. — AFP pic

ATLANTA, Nov 24 — Pascal Siakam scored 12 of his game-high 34 points in the final 6 1/2 minutes to help the visiting Toronto Raptors hold off the upset-minded Atlanta Hawks 119-116 yesterday.

The Raptors led 112-100 with 1:59 remaining but Atlanta fought back and cut the lead to 118-116 on De’Andre Hunter’s 3-pointer with 11.5 seconds left. Toronto’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was fouled and made one of two free throws with 4.5 seconds left, giving the Hawks a final chance to tie. But Atlanta’s Trae Young missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The loss ruined the second career triple-double for Young, who picked up his first as a rookie last season against Brooklyn. Young finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

It was the third straight win for Toronto and its eighth in a row over Atlanta. The Hawks lost the second leg of their back-to-back and have dropped six straight and nine of their last 10.

The Hawks had no answer for Siakam, who was 11-for-18 from the floor and 4-for-6 on 3s. Toronto also got 25 points and nine assists from Fred VanVleet and 20 points from Norman Powell.

Hunter scored 26 points, one shy of his career high set two games ago, and made six 3-point baskets.

Atlanta led 27-26 after the first period and rode Young’s 16 first-half points to take a 61-52 lead at the half.

The Hawks stretched their lead to 72-62 on Young’s basket with eight minutes left in the third quarter, but Toronto went on a 19-8 run and took an 81-80 lead on Hollis-Jefferson’ tip-in at the 2:28 mark in the third. Atlanta’s Hunter brought the Hawks back with three consecutive buckets, two of them 3-pointers, and led 90-87 at the end of the period when Vince Carter made a basket at the buzzer.

The Hawks were playing without rookie Cam Reddish (left wrist sprain) for the second straight game. The Raptors were again without Serge Ibaka (right ankle sprain) and Kyle Lowry (left thumb).

Atlanta plays again tomorrow at home against Minnesota. Toronto is back home tomorrow for a game with Philadelphia. — Reuters

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