East titans clash when Hawks host Raptors

( - The Atlanta Hawks won a franchise-record 19 straight games before the month of February arrived.

The Hawks appear to be mortal as evidenced by a 3-3 mark this month and will host the Toronto Raptors Friday night in an Eastern Conference showdown from Philips Arena.

Atlanta and Toronto occupy the top two spots in the East and are separated by 6 1/2 games. The Southeast-leading Hawks went 1-2 on their road trip prior to the All-Star break and suffered an 89-88 loss at Boston last Wednesday, as Evan Turner's runner just before the buzzer gave the Celtics a stunning win.

Al Horford finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds and fellow All-Star Jeff Teague added 10 points and eight assists for the Hawks, who shot an uncharacteristic 33 percent from the field in the second half.

"We didn't stay focused for the whole 48 minutes," Hawks forward Paul Millsap said.

Atlanta had won a franchise-record 13 consecutive games against Eastern Conference teams.

The Hawks are 25-3 at home and are unbeaten in the last 12 games at Philips Arena. They will visit Milwaukee on Sunday.

Toronto leads the Atlantic Division and is riding a three-game win streak.

The Raptors went 3-2 on their homestand prior to the All-Star break and posted a 95-93 win over the Washington Wizards last Wednesday. Lou Williams and DeMar DeRozan scored 27 and 23 points, respectively, and Kyle Lowry added 13 points to go along with six assists.

"It was big for us," Lowry said. "We just go out there and continue to get better."

Toronto will play four straight and nine of the next 11 games on the road, and are 15-8 outside Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors are 2-1 against the Hawks this season and had a three-game winning streak in this series stopped with a 110-89 loss on Jan. 16.