Hawks hit 16-year scoring high in win over Raptors

Hawks 146 Raptors 115 ATLANTA — For a change, the Toronto Raptors couldn’t lean on Chris Bosh and the Atlanta Hawks didn’t have to lean on Joe Johnson.

Atlanta Hawks forward Joe Smith

Hawks 146 Raptors 115

ATLANTA — For a change, the Toronto Raptors couldn’t lean on Chris Bosh and the Atlanta Hawks didn’t have to lean on Joe Johnson.

The Hawks came out far better in that comparison of two of the NBA’s top 11 scorers.

Al Horford had 24 points to lead nine scorers in double figures and the Hawks enjoyed their best offensive night in 16 years to beat the slumping Raptors 146-115 on Wednesday night.

“It was fun. It was one of those nights where we couldn’t miss,” Horford said.

Bosh, who averages 25.2 points, had a season-low two points in only 16 minutes. That left the Raptors with far too little offence to keep up with the Hawks’ highest-scoring game since Jan. 30, 1993, when they beat Philadelphia 149-123.

The Raptors suffered their fifth straight loss. The Hawks regained their momentum after losing three of four.

“We were simply outclassed,” said Toronto coach Jay Triano. “They just destroyed us.”

Atlanta, held below 90 points in its last three losses, enjoyed an offensive revival against the Raptors, who are next to last in the NBA with their average of 109.1 points allowed.

“We didn’t magically appear last on the charts defensively,” Bosh said, adding the team’s “defensive effort hasn’t been there for a while. … I mean, tonight was just a total embarrassment.”

Bosh sat out much of the first half with foul trouble and most of the second half after the Hawks led by more than 20 points. The two points were Bosh’s low total since scoring one point at Milwaukee on Nov. 6, 2007.

Bosh’s only points came on two free throws in the third period, but he was more concerned about his team’s defensive lapses.

“We’ve got to care about it,” Bosh said. “That’s what it comes down to. Have some pride. Without that pride teams just score at will, like they did tonight.

“If we did care we wouldn’t give up 145 points.”

The Hawks had nine players in double figures for the first time since Dec. 4, 1987, against New Jersey.

“I think everybody pretty much knows we’re an explosive team,” Johnson said. “Our consistency is where we’re lacking. We’ve got to figure it out on the road instead of just bringing it at home.”

The Hawks were playing their first game since losing at Detroit on Sunday. Coach Mike Woodson used the time to stress defence in practice.

“It got a little intense the last couple of days and we needed that,” Woodson said. “We had been lagging from a defensive standpoint and rebounding the ball.”

After they were outrebounded 53-27 in a 94-88 loss at Detroit on Sunday, the Hawks had 26 rebounds in just the first half against Toronto and claimed a 51-29 advantage for the game.

The Raptors arrived in Atlanta early Wednesday after losing to Washington in Toronto on Tuesday night and fell to 0-4 in the second game of back-to-backs.

“I think it had something to do with their back-to-back games,” said Atlanta’s Jamal Crawford, who had 16 points. “We jumped out early and didn’t look back the whole game.”

DeMar DeRozan had 21 points and Marco Belinelli added 16 for Toronto.

Eleven Atlanta players scored and Maurice Evans had nine points to narrowly miss giving the Hawks 10 players in double figures.

Josh Smith had 16 points, including 12 in the opening period, and four blocks. Marvin Williams added 15 points.

The Hawks stretched their lead by scoring 42 points in the second period, a season high for any period, for a 75-54 halftime lead. Atlanta kept on the pressure by adding 39 points in the third quarter.

Mike Bibby’s three three-pointers early in the first four minutes of the third quarter left each of the Hawks’ starters in double figures.

Woodson left his starters on the bench most of the final quarter.

NOTES: The Raptors suffered their fifth straight road loss to fall to 2-9 away from Toronto. … Bosh, who leads the NBA with 16 double-doubles, had no points and three rebounds while picking up three fouls in the first half. … Atlanta’s 75 points and 60.5 per cent shooting from the field in the first half set season highs. … Joe Johnson set a season high with 11 assists.

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