The Hawks, who had let their nine-point lead in the third quarter slip away, finally responded with a layup by Young (who scored 18 points in the fourth quarter) and a dunk by Collins sparking some life in the offense with about three minutes left. Young hit Collins as he was cutting to the basket to make it a two-point game with 34.5 seconds to play. It wasn’t enough.
“I thought our guys played well enough to win, we just couldn’t figure it out from an execution standpoint, which is frustrating,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “And even with the effort to come back, it’s just frustrating.”
Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague wears a warmup shirt with a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Atlanta.
Credit: John Amis
Credit: John Amis
3. After making it a two-point game, the Hawks' center found himself out on the perimeter defending Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet on a 3-point attempt. Collins appeared to bump VanVleet and was called for a foul. VanVleet made all three free throws to go up by five. He went 6-for-7 from the free-throw line in the final minute to help seal the Raptors' win.
Collins fouled out on the play, though Pierce applauded his defensive effort: “John was down the floor protecting on a drive and then he makes the second effort to get out and contest. We need the other guy to make the second effort to go out and contest that and make them have to make the second pass and the third pass. So I appreciate his effort to fly out there. It’s tough when you’re just lunging and doing whatever you can to contest the shot and you get the bad end of the whistle, or the landing, or whatever it may be.”
4. The Hawks shot 49.4% from the field (compared to Toronto's 41.3%) and tallied 26 assists but turnovers in crowded areas hurt them. Atlanta registered 23 turnovers and continue to lead the league in that category — averaging 16.9 per game. Young had seven turnovers.
5. Rookies Cam Reddish, De'Andre Hunter and Bruno Fernando gave solid performances.
Hunter had 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and a career-high two blocks in 27 minutes before fouling out early in the fourth. Reddish had 13 points, two steals and a career-high tying eight rebounds. Fernando led the Hawks’ bench with 12 points, making a career high six field goals (on seven attempts).
“We’re so hard on those guys in practice as rooks to get better,” Collins said. “So we always love to see them get in the game and actually do it.”
By the Numbers
63.6% (what the Raptors shot from 3 in the fourth quarter, as the Hawks fell into a 21-point deficit they couldn’t get out of)
“We just put ourselves in such a big hole, it’s hard to come back from.” (Young on the Hawks’ 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter)