Trying to improve their slim playoff hopes, the Toronto Raptors used a balanced attack and took advantage of an undermanned opponent in their last game.
The Raptors look to follow up that effort when they face the NBA’s worst team, the Atlanta Hawks, at the Air Canada Centre.
Chris Bosh had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and six other Raptors scored in double figures in a 106-96 victory over Orlando on Wednesday night. The double-double was the 23rd of the season for Bosh, who scored a career-high 33 points in Sunday’s 95-84 win at New Orleans.
Donyell Marshall and Matt Bonner each added 14 points and rookie center Rafael Araujo had 13 points in 18 minutes for Toronto, which is 4 1/2 games out of a playoff spot and has three teams in front of it.
“It’s impressive the kind of balance we had,” said Jalen Rose, who had 13 points and a season-high eight assists. “We’re going to need a lot of that the rest of the season.”
The Raptors, who have a five-game road trip at the end of the month, face the Hawks two more times after Friday’s matchup.
Atlanta has lost 13 straight overall and 23 consecutive road games following a 95-91 loss to Boston on Wednesday night. Tyronn Lue scored 25 points and Al Harrington added 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who led for the first 42 minutes and didn’t trail until Paul Pierce hit a fallaway jumper with 3:53 left.
Harrington made just nine of 21 shots and had seven turnovers, including a steal by former teammate Antoine Walker that led to Ricky Davis’ layup with 35 seconds left that put the Celtics ahead 90-87.
“It’s beyond a number right now. It seems like we can’t remember our last win,” Harrington said. “Tonight was a great opportunity to get one. Guys put it in my hands and I couldn’t deliver.”
The last victory for Atlanta came against the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 7, when Walker had 26 points and nine boards. The Hawks have not won on the road since Dec. 10 against Detroit.
STANDINGS (through March 9): Hawks - 5th place, 35 GB, Southeast Division. Raptors - 5th place, 6 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Hawks - Harrington, 17.5 ppg and 7.2 rpg; Lue, 4.0 apg. Raptors - Rose, 17.0 ppg; Bosh, 8.6 rpg; Alston, 6.8 apg.
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Raptors, 3-1.
LAST MEETING: March 14, 2004; Raptors, 101-84. At Toronto, Rose returned after missing 16 games with a broken left hand and scored 23 points as the Raptors won their seventh straight home meeting with the Hawks. Jason Collier had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta, which has not won in Toronto since Dec. 22, 2000.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Hawks - 2-30 on the road; Raptors - 19-11 at home.