Toronto ended its trip with an 0-3 mark after a 101-94 loss to Miami on Monday. The Raptors led in the fourth quarter of every game of the trip, but also lost 94-88 to Memphis and 115-113 in overtime to Dallas.
“We’re trying to build on wins and we’re playing the best teams in the league and coming up just a little bit short,” Raptors forward Chris Bosh said. “I’d rather lose a close game to a tough team than be blown out. I’ll sleep better at night.”
Bosh is considered the cornerstone of a franchise that is counting on Bryan Colangelo to help turn it around. Toronto officially announced Tuesday that the former Phoenix Suns general manager will take over as president and GM.
“He’s a successful GM,” Bosh said. “He has a good rep. You can see his work right now. It’s real good to know, just to have somebody come in who has pretty good credentials.”
Another building block that Colangelo has is rookie forward Charlie Villanueva, who averaged 17.7 points and 9.3 rebounds on the trip.
“He’s still a rookie but it’s time to step up,” said Toronto point guard Mike James, who’s averaging 23.0 points on 53 percent shooting with 7.3 assists in three games against Atlanta this season. “He’s been maturing very well.”
The Raptors last swept a season series from Atlanta in 2001-02 and have won nine of the last 10 meetings in Toronto, including a 108-102 victory on Dec. 28.
Atlanta posted its second overtime win in its last three games by beating New Jersey 104-102 on Monday. Josh Smith hit a jumper with 33.9 seconds left in the extra period to give the Hawks a 104-100 lead, and also scored on a jumper with 4.9 seconds to play in regulation to tie it at 94.
“I’ve been trying to work on my jump shot, it came to me and I shot it,” said Smith, who finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. “It was right on point. It kind of flirted with me a little bit, like it didn’t want to go in, and it finally dropped.”
Atlanta forward Josh Childress is averaging 16.3 points over his last eight games, but has posted just 7.0 against Toronto this season.