Hawks can’t stop Raptors’ third-quarter 3-point barrage, drop fifth straight

Toronto Raptors guard Dennis Schroder (17), a former Hawks player, dribbles the ball up court against Hawks guard Trae Young (11). (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Toronto Raptors guard Dennis Schroder (17), a former Hawks player, dribbles the ball up court against Hawks guard Trae Young (11). (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO -- The Hawks’ slide continues after they dropped the first game of their series against the Raptors. They fell 135-128 on Wednesday.

Here are five observations:

1. The Hawks strung together a strong sequence to get back into the game. Following Monday’s explosive career night, Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a pair of 3s off of a pair of steals. It cut the Hawks’ deficit to 109-107 with 6:26 left in the game.

But they quickly unraveled and the Raptors took advantage of the Hawks’ troubles to get back in transition. Raptors center Jakob Poetl blocked Hawks guard Trae Young on pair of floaters at the rim and the team couldn’t get back in time to slow the Raptors’ OG Anunoby on a dunk. Then it failed to slow Scottie Barnes’ layup and ended up fouling him in the process.

It took the wind out of the Hawks’ comeback and they never recovered.

“Give Toronto credit,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “But, I thought, we had some breakdowns, but thought our guys really competed and played, it’s hard to say when a team scores that, but I thought we played good defense. And there’s no solace in that when you lose. Certainly the players don’t feel that.”


2. Young scored 20 points and had 10 assists by the end of the first half. He looked decisive as he carved the Raptors up, getting to his spots and stepping into his three made 3-pointers with confidence.

On top of that, he attacked the Raptors at the rim and found the basket.

But the Raptors adjusted and forced Young off of his spots. But Young kept attacking and got to the line, where he made all four free-throw attempts. He ended the night with 35 points and 17 assists.

“What Trae did in the first half, he got us into everything early,” Snyder said. “He really picked his spot. ... What he did in the first half, was significant as far as really picking his spots, and thought he did a great job of that.”

3. The Raptors opened the third quarter shooting lights out from 3 and it did not seem like they could miss. They went 8-of-8 from before Snyder called a timeout to reset the team with 3:33 left in the frame.

The Hawks managed to slow the Raptors from distance for just a brief moment where they forced three straight misses. In that span, Bogdanovic drained a 26-foot jumper and Onyeka Okongwu made a layup to cut the Raptors’ lead to 99-95.

But the Hawks could not slow the Raptors long and they did not get back in transition, leaving Gary Trent open for a pull-up 3 at the buzzer. The Raptors ended up outscoring the Hawks 39-29 after they shot 9-of-12 from 3.

Raptors big man Pascal Siakam entered Wednesday night shooting 21.2% from three but made all but one of his six 3-point attempts.

4. The Hawks had a couple of players bring some heat of their own from distance with Okongwu putting up a career night in 3-pointers made, as well as attempts, going 3-for-5. Okongwu played 30 minutes on Wednesday night and played approximately 17 minutes at the four position.

It’s been a continued adjustment for Okongwu, who has worked on his ability to move quickly defensively while avoiding fouls. He had zero fouls but ended with two blocks, while making a big impact defensively in other ways.

“It just felt good just to see one go in, let alone three,” Okongwu. “Been in a little bit of a slump but seeing me go 3-for-5 has given me a little bit more confidence to shoot more.”

5. The Hawks entered Wednesday 6-6 on the road after they’ve had trouble protecting home court. Seven of their remaining 10 games of 2023 are on the road.

Stat to know

49 -- For the first time this season, the Hawks allowed an opponent to shoot better than 49% from 3. The Raptors rank 30th in the league in 3-point shooting, averaging 33.4%.


“Oh man, we love ‘Big O’ and he shoots every day, works hard, confident in his shot. We all ... are confident in his shot and you can see the excitement when he makes the shots. For us, it’s knowing that it’s not an irregular thing. He can really shoot. So, it’s just good to see him, make an impact at all three levels of the floor.” -- Saddiq Bey on Onyeka Okongwu’s shooting.

Up next

The Hawks remain in Toronto to face the Raptors for the second game of the series on Friday.