Raptors overtake Hawks in 4th quarter

Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder, left, drives to the net past Toronto Raptors guard Nando de Colo, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Sunday, March 23, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
Caption
Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder, left, drives to the net past Toronto Raptors guard Nando de Colo, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Sunday, March 23, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

Credit: Nathan Denette

Credit: Nathan Denette

Now, a 14-point fourth-quarter lead is not safe for the Hawks.

The Raptors erased the double-digit deficit en route to a 96-86 victory over the Hawks Sunday afternoon at Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors went on a 15-2 run, as the Hawks missed five straight shots during the stretch, to secure the come-from-behind win.

The Hawks (31-37, 11-25 road) have lost two straight after a season-high five-game win streak. The Hawks hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 14 games remaining in the regular season. They are two games behind the seventh-place Bobcats. The Hawks hold a 2-1/2 game lead over the Knicks, who hosted the Cavaliers Sunday night.

DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap had 17 points apiece for the Hawks. Jeff Teague added 16 points.

The Hawks and Raptors split their season series, 2-2, with each team winning their home games.

The Raptors (39-30, 21-14 home) won for the second time in the past five games. Kyle Lowry had a game-high 25 points. DeMar DeRozan, who averaging 30.3 points in three previous games against the Hawks this season, finished with 21 points, 15 in the second half.

Dennis Schroder converted a three-point play to start the fourth quarter and the Hawks had a 14-point lead, 74-60. It wasn’t safe.

The Raptors went on a 13-0 run, as the Hawks missed seven straight shots and had a turnover, to pull within a point. DeRozan made it 74-73 with a 3-pointer. The Raptors tied the game, 79-79, two minutes later when Amir Johnson tipped in the miss of a Terrance Ross free throw trying to complete a three-point play. Millsap gave the Hawks an 84-81 lead with a 3-pointer before the Hawks went cold.

The Hawks started fast and led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter and as many as 14 points in the second quarter. The Raptors used a 12-4 run in the second quarter to close the game but the Hawks took a 49-42 advantage into halftime.

Carroll had 12 of his points, with four steals, in the first quarter. Millsap had 11 of his points in the second quarter.

The Raptors closed to within two points, 52-50, in the third quarter. However, the Hawks pushed their advantage to 11 points, taking a 71-60 lead into the final quarter.

The Hawks host the Suns Monday.

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