1 stud and 1 dud in Raptors grinding win against red-hot Hawks

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 31: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors has the ball stolen by John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 31: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors has the ball stolen by John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors didn’t have a ton of time to rest after a triple-overtime win against the Heat in which Gary Trent Jr. and the rest of the starters played at least 53 minutes. They have to fend off an Atlanta Hawks team that was as hot as anyone in the conference after a seven-game winning streak.

Even without Trae Young in the lineup on the second night of a back-to-back, Atlanta was able to ride some solid rim protector to a nine-point lead at the end of the first half. As they’ve done so frequently this season, Toronto turned on the jets after getting down early.

The Raptors eventually pulled out a 106-100 win. While Kevin Huerter and Bogdan Bogdanovic were hitting some big shots late, Toronto answered the call, as Trent and OG Anunoby came through in the clutch to help Toronto pick up another win against a Southeast opponent.

The Raptors only had one or two players who needed to play much better in this game. This win was a total team effort, and Toronto should be thrilled about how they played given the circumstances in which they entered the game.

81. 100. 125. Final. 106

Gary Trent Jr. was electric for the Toronto Raptors.

Trent has evolved from an intriguing Sixth Man sniper into a complete starting off-ball guard in this league that can pace a team in scoring on any given night. After averaging over 31 points per game in his last three contests, Trent did everything he can to stay hot against the Hawks.

Trent finished with 31 points on 10-22 shooting and 9-15 from 3-point range. Trent became the first Raptors player since Kawhi Leonard to score 30 points in four consecutive games, and he could become the first since DeMar DeRozan to accomplish the feat in five straight.

Trent didn’t have an amazing game on the defensive side tonight, but when you can put the ball in the basket in the fashion he has over the last week, that can be excused. This is the best stretch of basketball we’ve seen from Trent in his entire career, and it’s getting fans excited about what the future may hold.

Siakam was once again excellent, pouring in 25 points while protecting the rim in sterling fashion against the dynamic duo of Clint Capela and John Collins. The All-Star campaign is starting to get even louder every time he puts together a game like this.

Chris Boucher had another iffy game for the Toronto Raptors.

Boucher didn’t have a terrible game, as he was rebounding and playing solid defense, but his lack of aggression on offense has been a concern for two games in a row. With how thin the bench is, can Toronto get away with him being a complete non-factor for much longer?

Boucher only took one shot (an unusual stepback 3-pointer) in 21 minutes, scoring three points thanks to free throws. After putting up just one point in the Miami game, Boucher was once again ineffective as a scorer. Considering how hot he was earlier in the month, that’s a bit unusual.


Unless Precious Achiuwa suddenly turns into prime Hakeem, Boucher is going to need to challenge for double digits in scoring on a nightly basis. With the trade deadline looming, he could make a very compelling case to avoid getting dealt if he gets a bit more offensively creative.

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