The Toronto Raptors endured a hard fought loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Toronto was down three starters as Jakob Poeltl, Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett were all out. However, it was the Raptors second unit that sparked some life in this team.
The game was back and forth in the final minutes. The Raptors took the lead after Jordan Nwora forced a turnover on Trae Young and then Gradey Dick passed the ball to Scottie Barnes who finished with the dunk.
Then on the other end Saddiq Bey dunked in Trae Young’s miss with 1.1 seconds left to lift the Hawks to a 126-125 win, handing Toronto their fifth loss in a row.
Bey finished with a season-high 26 points and he also grabbed 13 rebounds. Young had 30 points and 12 assists as the Hawks overcame a night where they shot just 6-27 from three.
Meanwhile for the Raptors Nwora had 24 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists from off the bench. This was his third game with the Raptors since being acquired in a trade with the Pacers for Pascal Siakam. He only scored three points in his first two games with Toronto.
He showed a lot of good things in his performance and he likely earned himself more playing time from here on out.
Gradey Dick continued his stretch of solid play. Dick had 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists on 3-5 shooting from three.
The the other key bench contributor for the Raptors was Jontay Porter. He finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds on 3-4 shooting from deep.
Scottie Barnes chipped in with 24 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. He was huge on the defensive end.
Despite losing this game, the Raptors showed a lot of positives. They had no business being in this one, but the shorthanded and rebuilding Raptors played their hearts out.
These are the sort of moral victories Toronto needs to build on.
Next on tap
The Raptors continue their six-game road trip when they travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Jan. 30.
The Bulls lead the season series 2-1.
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