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    Raptors struggle on second night of back-to-back

    On Saturday night, the Toronto Raptors faced Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. Toronto looked to extend their 3-game win streak, while Atlanta hoped to end their 3-game slump. The Hawks took advantage of the Raptors second night of a back-to-back and came away with the 132-121 win.

    Toronto got off to a solid start, but the toll of Friday’s game seemed to catch up with the team. They were outscored in the final 36 minutes, giving up 30+ points in each of the 3 quarters. Trae Young led his team with 28 points and 13 assists. He was a perfect 14 of 14 from the free throw line. Clint Capela added 23 points and 16 rebounds in 28 minutes of work.

    Atlanta shot an uncharacteristic 53% from deep. They connected on 19 shots, just 1 shy of their franchise best 20 three’s made in a game. They shot 57% from the field and converted on 88% of their free throw attempts.

    Despite forcing 18 Atlanta turnovers, Toronto made just 16 points off those opportunities. They were limited to 9 fast break points as they played from behind most of the night. Saturday was the Raptors first loss to the Hawks since March 10, 2017.

    Chris Boucher followed up his strong performance on Friday with a monster night on Saturday: he put up a career-high 29 points on 76.9% shooting, along with 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. When asked about his career night, Boucher had this to say: “I would’ve rather had 10 points in a win than 29 points in a loss”.

    Norman Powell continues his consistent production as a starter with 20 points and 2 steals. Fred VanVleet put up a double-double with 25 points and 10 assists.

    After the game, VanVleet was asked about the lack of calls, which neither team seemed particularly happy with. “[We have to] adjust to the way they’re officiating”, he told reporters. Every time Toronto got close, there seemed to be a whistle that sent Atlanta to the line. It was a strangely officiated game, with the referees handing out 3 technical fouls.

    In the loss, Aron Baynes continued to struggle. He had 2 points on 1 of 5 shooting with 0 rebounds. He had a string of double-digit rebounds that ended just as quickly as it began. The Raptors will need some production from him, as well as the bench, if they want to close out the final 3 games of their road trip on the winning side.

    Game note: Toronto is now 0-3 on the second night of back-to-back games and 0-11 when they are trailing going into the 4th quarter.

    Next up.. Toronto faces Ja Morant and the 9-8 Memphis Grizzlies. Tipoff is 8pm EASTERN at FedExForum.

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