The Toronto Raptors 122-117 victory over the Atlanta Hawks (10-34) was a roller coaster experience. Despite the close calls and nail-biter ending the Raptors were able to push their record to 29-14. That record leaves them at third place in the Eastern Conference, a half game above the Boston Celtics (28-14).

Trae Young scored 42 points ending the Raptors’ streak of 9 games where they held opposing players to under 30 points. That was the longest active streak in the league.

The Relentless Raptors

The Raptors had trouble finding the bottom of the basket in the match, as they shot below their averages with a mediocre 41.3% (38/92) from the field and an abysmal 31% from deep. They made up for their shooting woes by attacking relentlessly on both ends of the floor. They were able to abuse the Hawks’ lack of interior defence for not only 50 points in the paint but also an absurd 43 free throw attempts. On the defensive end Toronto scored 33 points off of 23 forced turnovers. The relentless defensive nature of the team kept them in striking distance until Norman Powell’s fourth quarter explosion.

Norman Powell 12 Straight Raptors Points

The Norman Powell Show

The Raptors don’t win this game without Norman Powell. Since his return from injury Powell has been an offensive powerhouse, averaging 23.6 points per game on beautiful 59.2% (8.4/14.2) efficiency. That’s not to mention his 52.9% (3.6/6.8) from beyond the arc. Powell is playing great basketball, making quick plays with confidence and getting into the teeth of the defence. His 5 straight 20 point games are a career-high and most notably they are coming off the bench. Powell went on a one-man 12-2 run early in the fourth that helped propel Toronto to a 21 point lead. This lead gave them the cushion to survive the Hawks comeback efforts late in the fourth.

Up Next

The Raptors will return home to host their rivals the Philadelphia 76ers (29-16) in what will prove to be an intense match-up. Tune in at 7:00 PM/EST on January 22nd to support the Toronto Raptors.