Raptors rally to beat Hawks in battle of NBA's worst

TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Raptors didn't care that their
victory came against a team whose record is almost as bad as their

Mike James scored 28 points, Morris Peterson added a season-high
26, and the Raptors beat the Atlanta Hawks 108-102 Wednesday night.

"We just needed a win, period," James said.

James also had nine assists and six rebounds for the Raptors,
who improved to 2-12 at home. They also beat Miami on Nov. 20.

Toronto is 7-22 overall, while Atlanta is 7-20.

"It's nice to get a win at home for a change," Toronto coach
Sam Mitchell said.

Al Harrington had 25 points for the Hawks, who are 0-2 against
Toronto this season. Atlanta has lost nine of its last 10 visits to

"We're good enough to win, we just didn't get it done,"
Harrington said. "It had nothing to do with being young or growing
or anything like that. We didn't make plays to win."

Harrington capped a 10-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter
with a 3-pointer, giving Atlanta an 89-81 lead.

But Toronto rallied with a 12-2 run, getting help when Atlanta
committed nine of its 22 turnovers in the quarter. Jalen Rose stole
an inbounds pass and converted a three-point play, tying it at 91.

Peterson's jumper with 2:47 left gave the Raptors the lead for
good at 96-94. After another Atlanta turnover, James assisted on
Charlie Villanueva's dunk, giving Toronto a 98-94 lead.

Harrington followed with a dunk, but James made two free throws
to give Toronto a four-point lead with 45 seconds left.

"They wanted it a little bit more down the stretch," Atlanta
coach Mike Woodson said. "I thought we kind of took control in the
early part of the fourth quarter. And then, at the seven or eight
minute mark, we let it get away."

Peterson played his best game of the season in what was a
milestone game for him. He passed Alvin Williams on the Raptors'
all-time games played list (418). He also has the longest streak of
consecutive games played among current NBA players with 307.

"Alvin came over to me and I said 'I'm taking over your
throne," Peterson said. "I just want to continue to do it. You
don't know how long you're going to play."

Game notes
When these teams met at Philips Arena on Dec. 2, Atlanta
was 2-12 and Toronto was 1-15 before the Raptors won their first
road game of the season. Since that game, each team has been much
more respectable, with the Hawks going 5-7 and the Raptors 5-6. ...
Toronto scored a season-high 35 points in the first quarter.