Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/2

Game 1: Friday, December 2nd
Game 2: Wednesday, December 28th
Game 3: Tuesday, January 3rd
Game 4: Wednesday, March 1st

Raptors 108

(9-22, 7-10 away)

Hawks 97

(7-22, 5-8 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 3, 2006

    Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 23 29 21 35108
    ATL 25 28 27 1797

    Top Performers

    Tor: C. Bosh 27 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

    Atl: J. Johnson 18 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Raptors rally in fourth for victory over Hawks

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Sam Mitchell sees improved play from his Toronto Raptors -- particularly when they play the Atlanta Hawks.

    Mike James scored 28 points and sparked Toronto's fourth-quarter comeback in the Raptors' 108-97 victory over the Hawks on Tuesday night.

    The win gave Toronto its first three-game winning streak of the season and five wins in its last seven games. Two of the three straight wins came over Atlanta.

    The Raptors (9-22) are 3-0 against the Hawks this season, accounting for one-third of Toronto's wins.

    "I keep telling guys don't worry about the record, worry about how we play," Mitchell said.

    The Hawks (7-22) lost their fourth straight and have the worst record in the league.

    Chris Bosh scored 27 points and grabbed all of his 12 rebounds in the second half. Bosh acknowledged he was motivated by some direct pointers at halftime.

    "I made it a point to pick it up," Bosh said. "The coaching staff is not afraid to get on me and let me know where I'm lacking. I made it a point to come out and rebound."

    Mitchell said James and Bosh have been team leaders as the Raptors have started winning.

    "Chris has really made an effort to bring everybody together and just push everybody to be accountable, and Mike has kind of chimed in on that," Mitchell said.

    The Hawks led by 11 in the third quarter, but James scored the Raptors' first eight points of the final period, making two 3-pointers, to lead the comeback.

    "Getting the win was the main thing," James said. "We dug ourselves a hole and we just kept fighting back. We knew we weren't playing good basketball, but they continued to allow us to stay in the game."

    Toronto made six of seven 3-pointers in the final quarter.

    "Guys started hitting shots they were missing earlier in the game," James said.

    Joe Johnson, Al Harrington and Zaza Pachulia each scored 18 for Atlanta.

    The Hawks have lost fourth-quarter leads in each of the four straight losses.

    "It's been like this for the last four games," Johnson said. "Nothing has changed. It's just something we have to work on."

    Josh Smith finished with 17 for Atlanta but was only 1-of-5 in the second half.

    There were 20 lead changes in the first half, with Toronto's five-point lead late in the half the biggest advantage for either team.

    Atlanta led 53-52 at halftime, as Smith had 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field.

    Led by James, the Raptors charged back in the final period. James hit two early 3-pointers and Morris Peterson's 3 with 4:58 left tied it at 90.

    Toronto rookie Charlie Villanueva hit two free throws with 2:38 left to give the Raptors a 97-96 lead -- their first lead of the final period. Peterson added another 3-pointer for a 100-97 lead with 1:55 left, prompting Hawks coach Mike Woodson to call a timeout.

    On the Hawks' next possession, Villanueva drew an offensive foul on Johnson. Darrick Martin's 3 with 55 seconds left pushed the lead to six.

    Woodson said the Hawks are faltering down the stretch.

    "I've got to help them get over the hump somehow," Woodson said. "We're right there ... and we threw the ball away three of the next four possessions. You're not going to beat teams like that."

    Villanueva, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Raptors' win at Atlanta on Dec. 2, had only two points and two rebounds in 22 minutes.

    Game notes

    Atlanta had fewer free-throw attempts than its opponents in eight straight games before a 41-33 advantage over Toronto. Pachulia made 12 of 14 free throws -- each total setting a career high. ... Hawks general manager Billy Knight will be honored Wednesday night as one of three players to have his jersey retired by the University of Pittsburgh. Don Hennon and Charles Smith are the other former Pitt players to be honored at halftime of a home game against Notre Dame. Knight played at the school from 1971-74.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 108 97
    FGM-FGA 36-74 (.486) 31-65 (.477)
    3PM-3PA 10-19 (.526) 2-11 (.182)
    FTM-FTA 26-33 (.788) 33-41 (.805)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-36 5-33
    Assists 16 18
    Turnovers 15 18
    Steals 4 9
    Blocks 3 3
    Fast Break Points 4 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (0/0) 27 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 11 11

    Top Performers

    Chris Bosh Bosh
    Points: 27
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Joe Johnson Johnson
    Points: 18
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1