So the internet is back and fully functional here at DNB HQ and I am almost back to 100% after my 24 hour battle with a cold. Raptors have signed Anderson and Uzoh for the rest of the year. No Jose, Kleiza for tonight. Calderon will dress but would only play in case of an emergency. Linas is taking the night off again because of trouble with his knee. Hawks have to be some really angry birds coming into Toronto after getting embarrassed by the Raptors at home last night. Will see if the Hawks come out looking a lot different tonight. The chances are they will. For the Raptors they will just keep fighting and see what happens. Dwane Casey will demand nothing less. Amir Johnson will have his own rooting section as he hosts 50 fans to his 2nd annual Roll With Amir Event. It is the coolest promotion I have ever seen done by any athlete that I can ever remember. Let's hope he can put on a show for them and the rest of the crowd at the ACC.
Demar DeRozan had a big night last night and opened up the scoring on this night. Alan Anderson celebrating the fact he has a job till next Thursday bangs in a couple jumpers and the Raptors had an early 6-2 advantage. Young Onez get back to back buckets to make it 10-6, first Amir and than Demar. Joe Johnson and Captain Kirk counter for the Hawks tying the game for the first time tonight at 10. A Jeff Teague three would give the Hawks their first lead at 13-10 with just under 7 to play in the first. Tank conspiracy theorists will be all over this but at the 5:40 mark Solomon Alabi checks into the game. Hawks were able to keep hold of the lead in mean time leading 22-18 with 4 to play in the 1st and Alabi still on the floor. Raptors would get this puppy back to even and Alabi is still scoreless with the game tied at 25. James Johnson would break the tie with a three ball as he works his way out of the doghouse that Dwane Casey says he is not in. Case you were wondering, Toronto still likes to boo T-Mac and I as always support them to do so. In other news the Raptors had the lead back 32-30 after one.
Solomon Alabi was playing heavy minutes and finally got on the board rebounding his own miss to give the Raptors their lead back 35-34. This was followed by a James Johnson Jam for the highlight reels and one that he makes to give the Raptors a 38-34 lead. Ed Davis with a huge block on the other end and the Hawks look more like the team playing out the string than the Raptors. Solomon Alabi was doing stuff and the Hawks were down 6 and I am not still on cold medication. Note to myself for the DNB Playoff Preview, do not pick the Atlanta Hawks to win in first round. This was a pathetic effort by the Hawks to this point. They would finally tie the game on a Marvin Williams slam in transition off a Raptor turnover at 46. After the Hawks took the lead an ill advised three from Josh Smith but the Hawks do get the rebound and Teague got to the line. This was a tight game with Solomon Alabi playing major minutes. Like seriously do people in Atlanta realize how rare this is that Alabi is on the floor? Hawks finally decided to try and pull away late in the half building a 54-49 lead. Solomon Alabi has 6 points though and cut the lead to three. That is how the half would end with Hawks on top 54-51.
The Raptors D was not the same as it was last night in Atlanta. They would look to improve on that in the 2nd half but regardless they were hanging around with both teams shooting above 50% on the night. Hawks slowly started to build a lead with the score 59-53 as we were 4 minutes into the third. Demar DeRozan nailed a three but the Raptors do a poor job getting back and Teague scores in transition and draws a foul as well and makes that to restore the six point advantage. DeRozan would score followed by another Josh Smith brick for three that would lead to an Ed Davis score and it was a two point game again. Jeff Teague appeared to be one of the few Hawks on the floor that were playing like they gave a damn. Gary Forbes was having a rough night but made a three with about 3 minutes to play to cut the Hawks lead back to three after they had crept back to up six once again. Ivan Johnson takes advantage of Alabi and gets a bucket and one to restore the six point advantage. The Hawks seem to have figured this out, a steal and the Hawks take it straight at Alabi and score. Hawks had an 8-0 run fueled by Raptors turnovers and this game was finally looking like you might have expected. Hawks lead was growing fast and they had the Raptors down 13 points the largest lead for anyone on the night. Raptors would get two back but trailed 79-68 after 3.
This game was off the rails for the most part and Hawks led 83-68 with 10 mins to go. Solomon Alabi was actually going to need a shower after this game. He was already at a career high 22 minutes and counting. Hawks would get the lead to as high as 19 and with this eventual win they would lock up a playoff spot but looked nothing like a team to worry about in the playoffs. There is really nothing more to say about this 4th quarter. Raptors would make a push to trail by just 13 points but like I said think we are done here barring some minor miracle. Tracy McGrady would restore order hooking Josh Smith up to restore the 19 point lead and thus we wait for the final score to put this to bed. The final ends up 109-87 for the Hawks.
Solomon Alabi flirts with a double double with 8 points and 9 rebounds in close to 24 minutes. That tells you all about this game that you need to know. So with that Good Night!!!