The Union Recorder

Local Sports

March 28, 2013

Hawks beat Raptors 107-88 to clinch playoff berth

(Continued)

TORONTO —

"We just want to be in the best position that we can, whatever that is," Horford said.

Josh Smith scored 19 points for the Hawks, who used a 16-0 run midway through the fourth to win for the 13th time in their last 15 meetings with the Raptors.

Horford had just six points in the first half but still reached double digits for the 31st consecutive game, the second-longest streak of his career. He did it in 33 straight games in 2009-10.

"He has really come into his own," Drew said. "He got off to a little bit of a slow start but as the game went on he started getting more and more into a rhythm. You could see in the second half where he was really wanting the basketball so we were running plays where we got him the ball. We were putting him positions where he was picking and popping and he was knocking the shot down."

Raptors coach Dwane Casey had suggested his team might shut down Rudy Gay after the star forward left Friday's home loss to the Knicks with a sore back, then sat out Saturday's loss in New York. Still sore, Gay started against the Hawks, scoring 15 points in 34 minutes and matching his season high with 12 rebounds.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 19 points, DeMar DeRozan had 14, Terrence Ross 13 and Alan Anderson 12 for the Raptors, who have lost four straight and 11 of 14.

Toronto forward Amir Johnson left with 10:28 left in the third with a left leg contusion. X-rays were negative but he did not return.

Toronto was outscored 55-29 after Johnson went down, leaving Casey bemoaning his team's lack of toughness.

"We didn't respond when they got physical," Casey said. "We're looking for calls, and they're not calling them."

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