Toronto Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 15th 2023

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The visiting Atlanta Hawks will be out to gain a split of their two-game series with the Toronto Raptors on Friday and end their five-game losing streak.

Toronto halted its own four-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 135-128 victory over Atlanta in the series opener.

The Raptors, not known for their ability to hit from long range, shot 52.9 percent from 3-point range (18 of 34).

Atlanta made it close when Bogdan Bogdanovic sank two 3-pointers to cut Toronto’s lead to 109-107 with 6:26 left in the game.

Jakob Poeltl blocked Hawks guard Trae Young on two occasions as the Raptors regained control.

“Give Toronto credit,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “I thought we had some breakdowns, but thought our guys really competed. … I thought we played good defense. There’s no solace in that when you lose. Certainly the players don’t feel that.”

Toronto shot a season-best 57.5 percent from the floor (50 of 87).

The Raptors saw a season-high four players make at least three 3-pointers in the contest.

Pascal Siakam, who led Toronto with 33 points, was 5-for-6 from beyond the arc. He has struggled much of the season with 3-point shooting.

“I’m living with whatever happens,” Siakam said. “I’m at peace with that because I know the process that comes into being at that level and putting the work in every single day, You won’t hear me talk about it. I’m not worried about it. I’m just continuing to do the things that I do every day.”

It was the first time since Nov. 1 that Siakam made more than one 3-pointer. He went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc in a 130-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 1.

“I’m not mad at the shots that I took. I’m not mad at the mechanics. I’m not mad at anything,” Siakam said. “A couple of those in-and-outs go in and it’s a different thing.”

Scottie Barnes added 27 and 10 rebounds and Poeltl had 15 and 13, respectively. O.G. Anunoby had 22 points, Dennis Schroder scored 17 and Gary Trent Jr. had 12.

Trent sank 4 of 8 shots from 3-point range, while Barnes and Schroder each went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.

Toronto coach Darko Rajakovic said Tuesday that he considered adjusting his starting lineup but the top five deserved a chance to mesh.

“I think we saw that the lineup can definitely work,” Poeltl said. “We had a little tough stretch right there where we couldn’t really figure it out, maybe our confidence was down a little bit, the energy was down a little bit.”

Young had 35 points and tied a season high with 17 assists for Atlanta. He had 20 points and 10 assists at halftime.

“What Trae did in the first half, he got us into everything early,” Snyder said. “He really picked his spot. … What he did in the first half, was significant as far as really picking his spots, and thought he did a great job of that.”

Dejounte Murray and Bogdanovic each added 20 points for the Hawks and Clint Capela had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Raptors have won four of the past five meetings against the Hawks at home.

–Field Level Media

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