Another late-game rally falls short for the Toronto Raptors.
After trailing by as many as 14 in the final minutes, Toronto made things interesting before suffering a 108-103 loss at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks.
The Raptors, who fall to 21-34 on the year, were led by 30 points from Pascal Siakam. 23 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic led the way for the Hawks, who are now 30-25 on the season and have strengthened their hold on the East's No. 4 seed.
Here are some takeaways from the buzzer…
1. A lengthy injury report
Both the Hawks and Raptors were extremely undermanned in this one.
Already without Jalen Harris (hip), Kyle Lowry (rest), Fred VanVleet (hip) and Paul Watson (health and safety protocols), DeAndre' Bembry was a late scratch for Toronto, which had just 11 active players. The Hawks were without John Collins (ankle), Kris Dunn (ankle), Danilo Gallinari (foot), De'Andre Hunter (knee), Cam Reddish (Achilles) and Tony Snell (ankle) before Trae Young (calf) was ruled out right ahead of tip.
With the truncated season coming to a close, teams are looking to finish off as strong - and healthy - as possible, so the cautious approach makes sense.
2. Flynn engineers late rally to set new career-high
With 2:38 minute remaining in the fourth, the Raptors trailed 105-91.
Then ensued a personal 12-0 run from Flynn.
Holy Flynn pic.twitter.com/NfJgV7a81X- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 14, 2021
Toronto's rookie guard knocked down triples with 1:40, 1:12, 33.2 seconds and 19.8 seconds left on the clock to make it 105-103 late but Atlanta responded by hitting three of its final four free throws to put things away.
After entering the fourth quarter with seven points, the 22-year-old set a new career-high with 22 points, shooting 8-for-18 from the field and 6-for-13 from deep, however, he was the only Raptor to get going from the land beyond.
3. A cold night from 3
The long ball was the difference.
Despite Flynn's heroics, the Raptors finished the night shooting 10-for-39 (25.6 percent) from beyond the arc, with Gary Trent Jr. going 0-for-7 while OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam each shot 1-for-5.
The Hawks, on the other hand, shot 13-for-30 (43.3 percent) from distance, led by Bogdanovic's 5-for-8 shooting.
The contrast isn't as stark due to Flynn's late outburst but Atlanta still outscored Toronto by nine from the perimeter.
4. Bogdanovic continues his tear
Bogdanovic entered the night with averages of 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in the month of April.
That level of play continued on Tuesday night.
Bogi for threeeeeeee pic.twitter.com/8rXj0RGlPz- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 14, 2021
Atlanta's major offseason addition finished with a team-high 23 points on 50.0 percent shooting from the field, pulled down six rebounds and dished out four assists in just under 40 minutes of action. On a night where the Hawks were missing a number of key contributors, Bogdanovic stepped up in each way his team needed him to.
5. Siakam does all that he can
When Toronto is without Lowry and VanVleet, it needs Siakam to pace the offence in order to compete.
He did just that on Tuesday.
The former Most Improved Player, had an efficient night at the office, scoring a game-high 30 points (on 13-for-19 shooting) and dishing out a game-high seven assists to lead the Raptors' offence in more ways than one. It didn't result in a win, but it's something to continue to build upon.
6. A big night from Birch
Performances like this one are a reminder of just why the Raptors wanted to bring in Khem Birch.
He was active, he was efficient and he was effective.
In 25 minutes of action, Birch fell one point shy of a career-high with 13 points to go along with six rebounds, two steals and a block. Birch shot 5-for-6 from the field, including the fifth 3-point make of his NBA career. Moving forward, it's clear that Birch's activity will only mean good things for the Raptors.
7. What's next?
Toronto is right back in action tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. (E.T.) when it hosts DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs in the Bell Game of the Week. The Raptors are 1-10 on the second end of back-to-backs this season and will look to undo recent misfortune.
Catch you then.
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