Atlanta sneaks past trade-riddled Toronto
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
January 31, 2013 12:20 AM | 934 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Josh Smith shoots an off-balance jumper Wednesday against a Raptors team shaken earlier in the day by the trade of longtime player Jose Calderon.
<Br>Associated Press photo
Josh Smith shoots an off-balance jumper Wednesday against a Raptors team shaken earlier in the day by the trade of longtime player Jose Calderon.
Associated Press photo
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ATLANTA — ATLANTA — Al Horford scored 22 points, including a go-ahead dunk with 21 seconds remaining, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the short-handed Toronto Raptors 93-92 on Wednesday night.

Longtime Raptors guard Jose Calderon and forward Ed Davis gave farewell hugs to their teammates about an hour before the game as word leaked of a trade that will send small forward Rudy Gay from Memphis to Toronto.

DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 23 points. John Lucas added a season-high 19 points, Alan Anderson had 15 points and Aaron Gray had eight points and 11 rebounds.

Josh Smith added 20 points and 11 rebounds and Kyle Korver, who made five 3-pointers, had 17. Horford had 10 rebounds.

With Toronto leading

92-91, a missed jumper by John Lucas set up a Hawks timeout with 27.8 seconds remaining. A few passes around the perimeter set up Horford’s open jam to Atlanta the lead.

Horford blocked Kyle Lowry’s shot out of bounds with 12.6 seconds remaining. The officials’ review of the video confirmed possession belonged to Toronto.

Following a timeout, the game ended on two misses by DeRozan under the basket. There was apparent contact from Horford on DeRozan, but no foul was called.

Toronto coach Dwane Casey charged onto the court with his arms extended, demanding an explanation for the no-call in the final seconds.

The Raptors were left with nine players in uniform following the trade.

Calderon and Davis were starters, but Gay, averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, could boost the Raptors’ chances of moving into the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Toronto entered Wednesday’s games in 11th place in the conference, 5½ games behind eighth-place Boston.

Hawks coach Larry Drew said before the game he warned his players to not be distracted by the Toronto trade.

Despite Drew’s warning, the Hawks appeared to be sluggish in the first half as they fell behind by 13 points at 53-40 following a 10-0 run by the more aggressive Raptors. Toronto outrebounded the Hawks 28-13 in the half and led 55-45 at halftime.

The Hawks finally answered Drew’s call in the third quarter, when they took the lead by outscoring the Raptors 30-14.

Atlanta led 75-69 entering the fourth period. Lucas scored Toronto’s first eight points of the period, including two 3-pointers.

A basket by Lowry gave Toronto an 87-86 lead with 2:35 remaining. DeRozan scored following a steal from Smith to push the lead to three points.

A 3-pointer by Korver tied the game at 89-all. A turnover by Atlanta’s Jeff Teague set up Anderson’s 3-pointer. Two free throws by Horford with 58 seconds remaining cut Toronto’s lead to 92-91.

NOTES: Brothers B.J. and Justin Upton, added to the Braves’ outfield through free agency and a trade, respectively, had front-row seats, one day after Justin had his introductory news conference in Atlanta. ... Gray had 10 rebounds in the first half, matching his season high for a game. He had 22 points and 10 rebounds in Toronto’s 112-102 loss to Golden State on Monday night. ... The Raptors finished with a 52-36 advantage in rebounds.

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