Raptors pull out gutsy 123-121 victory over the Hawks

The Toronto Raptors entered State Farm Arena and left with a nail-biting 123-121 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Toronto put together one of their most well-rounded performances winning consecutive games for just the fifth time this season.

Fresh off the massive 28-point victory on Thursday night against the Brooklyn Nets, The Raptors immediately prepared to play the Hawks without any day’s worth of rest. This was Atlanta’s first game back from the All-Star break, which was evident in their early play.

Toronto got off to an early lead led by the stellar play of Immanuel Quickley. The electric point guard followed a 24-point performance the night prior with 24 points again. He was aggressive from the jump and willed Toronto’s offense early on. RJ Barrett was ruled out close to game time and Quickley did more than enough to fill that void.

However, Atlanta would make a run and bring themselves within striking distance, which they would maintain for the entirety of the game. Dejounte Murray was stellar finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. He was joined in the scoring department by an unlikely member as De’Andre Hunter added 22 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Toronto did an excellent job defensively containing All-Star guard, Trae Young, to just 11 points on 4-13 shooting from the field. The Raptors threw a mix of Scottie Barnes, Ochai Agbaji, and Bruce Brown at Young and proved to rattle his rhythm throughout the game.

The story of the game was the performance of the bench. Each player that played off the bench scored in double digits. It was Toronto’s rookie that set the tone early. Gradey Dick looked the most comfortable in his young career and consistently made winning plays. He finished the game with 18 points and added solid defense to his performance. This marks his fourth game this month with over 10 points, displaying his rapid improvement from opening night until now.

Toronto’s All-Star had a great game as well, as Scottie Barnes finished with 20 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. The Raptors played unselfish basketball tallying 37 assists as a team on 50 made field goals. Atlanta dominated from the free-throw line going 17-24 compared to Toronto’s 8-8. However, the Raptors’ 15 made three-pointers edged out the Hawks’ 12 made threes giving them the slight advantage to pull away this win.

The Raptors now improve to 21-36 on the season and are playing inspired basketball. They will get two days of rest before taking on the Indiana Pacers for the final game of their road trip before starting a four-game homestand. That game will be on Monday, February 26th at 7 PM ET.

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