Atlanta (45-30) at Toronto (49-24)
When: Wednesday, March 30th 2016
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: NBA TV
The Atlanta Hawks will look for their fifth-straight win on Wednesday when they visit the Toronto Raptors. The Hawks are hanging onto the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference Playoff race and lead fourth-place Miami by one game and fifth-place Boston and Charlotte by a game and a half. Jeff Teague (15.1 points) scored 26 points on Monday to lead the Hawks to a 102-100 road win over Chicago. Atlanta has scored over 100 points in nine-straight games and are looking for a three-game road trip sweep tonight. Holding onto the three-seed won’t be an easy task, but the Hawks have won 14 of their last 17 games. Their last seven games include Toronto and Cleveland twice each. Teague and backup Dennis Schroder combined for 40 points in the win over Chicago, with all of those points coming from inside the 3-point arc. Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (6.0 points), who scored 14 or more in four straight games, is 2-of-16 in the last two contests and has scored just 12 total points in the last three.
Toronto is more than likely getting the two-seed in this year’s playoffs, but have to be a little worried about their recent play and health of All-Star guar Kyle Lowry. The Raptors have lost three of their last four and face a tough closing stretch. Lowry had his inflamed right elbow drained after Monday’s loss to the Thunder (119-100) and is shooting 26.2% from the field in his last four games. Lowry is even struggling at the free-throw line, connecting on 60.4% of his tries in his last five games. Patrick Patterson has been lighting it up lately, shooting 14-of-20 from the field in the last three games. Toronto is three games back of Cleveland for the top seed in the East, but five games clear of Atlanta. The Raptors next six games are against teams with winning records, but they’ll close with three of the worst teams in the East – 76ers, Nets, and Knicks. Toronto has taken the last three meetings by an average of 14.3 points.
Atlanta is playing much better right now and the Raptors aren’t the same without a healthy Lowry. I’ll take the road team tonight.
Pick: Hawks +2