Johnson scores 30 as Hawks pummel Raptors

TORONTO – Joe Johnson equalled his season best with 30 points as the Atlanta Hawks lead nearly all the way in defeating the Toronto Raptors 100-77 on Tuesday.

Tracy McGrady added 15 points coming off the bench for Atlanta while Marvin Williams, Zaza Pachulia and Jeff Teague each chipped in with 10 points.

Atlanta shot 51.3 per cent from the field while Toronto shot 37 per cent.

Jerryd Bayless led the Raptors with 14 points while Ed Davis added 11 and Gary Forbes scored 10. DeMar DeRozan and James Johnson each added nine for Toronto.

Linas Kleiza chipped in with seven points while Jose Calderon had six points to go with nine assists.

The Raptors, returning from a 3-2 trip, were again without their scoring leader Andrea Bargnani who did not play for the ninth time in the past 11 games because of a strained left calf.

Two of the Raptors victories on their trip came with Bargnani in the lineup.

It was the second win this season for the Hawks (16-6) over the Raptors (7-15). The Hawks won 93-84 at Atlanta on Jan. 16.

Atlanta has a six-game winning streak against Toronto, including three in a row at Air Canada Centre. The teams meet twice more this season.

The Hawks led 77-60 after three quarters and continued to pull away in the fourth quarter as the teams used liberal substitutions. McGrady scored seven of his points in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta took a 19-point advantage into third and the Raptors could pare only two points from that in the quarter. Johnson, who shot 13 for 18, made an 18-foot pull-up jumper with 2.8 seconds left in the third to give him 30 points. He scored also 30 points in nearly 46 minutes Friday against Detroit.

Johnson hit a 28-foot jumper with 1.9 seconds left in the first half to give Atlanta a 56-37 lead at the intermission. He led all scorers in the first half with 24 points on 10-for-12 shooting including 3-for-4 on three-point attempts.

Williams added 10 points in the first half for the Hawks who shot 60 per cent from the field. Bayless led Toronto with 12 first-half points with Kleiza adding seven.

Bayless hit consecutive threes midway through the first quarter to pull the Raptors even at 14. But Johnson hit a three-pointer on a 25-foot jumper with 3.8 seconds left in the quarter to give Atlanta a 23-18 lead.

Notes: Attendance at Air Canada Centre was 16,117. Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic was among those in attendance. … Leandro Barbosa returned Tuesday to score four points. He missed last Sunday’s win at New Jersey because of a sore left ankle. … The Raptors played 19 games in January, a franchise record for one month. Previously the most they had played in a month was 18 games in April 1999 as part of a 50-game schedule. … Toronto visits Boston on Wednesday. … Former Raptor McGrady was booed frequently as usual during Tuesday’s game. … Atlanta’s Al Horford has missed the past 11 games with a torn left pectoral muscle that required surgery. … Bargnani averaged 23.5 points in 13 games this season.

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