Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/30/13
ATLANTA -- Al Horford made the dunk that put the Atlanta Hawks up for good -- finally -- over the short-handed Toronto Raptors. Just another one of Hawks coach Larry Drew's patented plays out of a time out. "You have to give credit to Coach Drew," Horford said after Wednesday night's 93-92 win. "He's the one that drew it up. "He spends a lot of time running through these ATO (after time out) plays, and I think were one of the better teams in the league at doing them." But down at the other end of the Philips Arena hallway, Raptors coach Dwane Casey was fuming about a foul not called on Horford in a frenzied scramble in the final four seconds. "I'm tired of this," Casey said angrily. "I'm tired of losing games because of missed calls at the end of the game. I know the league's going to come down on me for this but I don't care. Guys have fought their hearts out, played their hearts out and at the end of the game we get cracked, apology, go back to Canada. "I've been in this league 18 years and I've never seen as many missed calls at the end of the game to cost us the game. "We have good officials. Too good to miss calls and short-change these young men like that. And it's not right. "I watched the replay over and over and over. I wouldn't be saying this if they weren't playing their hearts out." The Raptors, already without four injured players, took the floor with only nine after trading Jose Calderon (to Detroit) and Ed Davis (to Memphis) before the game. The Hawks had to overcome a 10-point halftime hole, dig in hard in the fourth quarter and survive to beat them. Josh Smith and Horford led the Hawks (26-19), Smith with 20 points and 11 rebounds, Horford with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Korver continued his 3-point shooting streak, adding 17 points. Although the Raptors were somber in the locker room before the game, they didn't play that way. DeMar DeRozan had 23 points and John Lucas had a season-high 19 points off the bench. Kevin Lowry, who was a game-time decision (back spasms) but started for the depleted Raptors, had 14 points and 10 rebounds. "We shouldn't even have been in that situation at the end of the game," Lowry said. Amir Johnson scored only six points but had 14 rebounds, and Alan Anderson had 15 points. Aaron Gray had 8 points and 11 rebounds. The Raptors (16-30) led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter and led the Hawks 55-45 at the half, thanks to an 18-8 run. But the Hawks closed the gap to three points, 55-52 in the opening minutes of the third quarter, sparked by Jeff Teague's first points of the game -- a 3-point shot at 10:15 in third quarter -- and a Smith dunk. And once the Raptors went to a zone defense, the Hawks took charge, getting a 65-64 lead at 3:29 on Smith's driving layup. NOTES: The Toronto Raptors were down to nine dressed players after trading Jose Calderon (to Detroit) and Ed Davis (to Memphis) before the game. The trade was confirmed to the players when they arrived at Philips Arena. Both of them headed back to the team hotel after saying their goodbyes to their teammates in the locker room. "It's tough," Calderon said on his way out. "Hopefully this team is back to the playoffs as soon as possible. The fans have been with me since Day 1, that's why it's tough." ... Kyle Lowry (back spasms), who Casey had said in his pregame comments was available, ended up starting. ... Drew said his pregame message to his team would be that they couldn't be distracted by trade rumors or by the Raptors' depleted roster. ... Zaza Pachulia was inactive with a sore right Achilles. ... Drew said he wanted to find some minutes for Anthony Morrow; between a sore lower back, a strained right hip and coach's decisions, Morrow hasn't played in a game since the Dec. 28 game at the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he had one assist and two personal fouls in seven minutes on the floor.
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