Mike James scored 28 points and sparked Toronto's fourth-quarter
comeback in the Raptors' 108-97 victory over the Hawks on Tuesday
The win gave Toronto its first three-game winning streak of the
season and five wins in its last seven games. Two of the three
straight wins came over Atlanta.
The Raptors (9-22) are 3-0 against the Hawks this season,
accounting for one-third of Toronto's wins.
"I keep telling guys don't worry about the record, worry about
how we play," Mitchell said.
The Hawks (7-22) lost their fourth straight and have the worst
record in the league.
Chris Bosh scored 27 points and grabbed all of his 12 rebounds
in the second half. Bosh acknowledged he was motivated by some
direct pointers at halftime.
"I made it a point to pick it up," Bosh said. "The coaching
staff is not afraid to get on me and let me know where I'm lacking.
I made it a point to come out and rebound."
Mitchell said James and Bosh have been team leaders as the
Raptors have started winning.
"Chris has really made an effort to bring everybody together
and just push everybody to be accountable, and Mike has kind of
chimed in on that," Mitchell said.
The Hawks led by 11 in the third quarter, but James scored the
Raptors' first eight points of the final period, making two
3-pointers, to lead the comeback.
"Getting the win was the main thing," James said. "We dug
ourselves a hole and we just kept fighting back. We knew we weren't
playing good basketball, but they continued to allow us to stay in
Toronto made six of seven 3-pointers in the final quarter.
"Guys started hitting shots they were missing earlier in the
game," James said.
The Hawks have lost fourth-quarter leads in each of the four
"It's been like this for the last four games," Johnson said.
"Nothing has changed. It's just something we have to work on."
Josh Smith finished with 17 for Atlanta but was only 1-of-5 in
the second half.
There were 20 lead changes in the first half, with Toronto's
five-point lead late in the half the biggest advantage for either
Atlanta led 53-52 at halftime, as Smith had 15 points on 6-for-7
shooting from the field.
Led by James, the Raptors charged back in the final period.
James hit two early 3-pointers and Morris Peterson's 3 with 4:58
left tied it at 90.
Toronto rookie Charlie Villanueva hit two free throws with 2:38
left to give the Raptors a 97-96 lead -- their first lead of the
final period. Peterson added another 3-pointer for a 100-97 lead
with 1:55 left, prompting Hawks coach Mike Woodson to call a
On the Hawks' next possession, Villanueva drew an offensive foul
on Johnson. Darrick Martin's 3 with 55 seconds left pushed the lead
Woodson said the Hawks are faltering down the stretch.
"I've got to help them get over the hump somehow," Woodson
said. "We're right there ... and we threw the ball away three of
the next four possessions. You're not going to beat teams like
Villanueva, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Raptors'
win at Atlanta on Dec. 2, had only two points and two rebounds in
Atlanta had fewer free-throw attempts than its opponents in
eight straight games before a 41-33 advantage over Toronto.
Pachulia made 12 of 14 free throws -- each total setting a career
high. ... Hawks general manager Billy Knight will be honored
Wednesday night as one of three players to have his jersey retired
by the University of Pittsburgh. Don Hennon and Charles Smith are
the other former Pitt players to be honored at halftime of a home
game against Notre Dame. Knight played at the school from 1971-74.
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