Toronto, ON – Al Horford and Jeff Teague each came through with double-doubles and the Atlanta Hawks officially clinched a playoff spot with a 107-88 decision over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday.
Horford amassed 20 of his 26 points in the second half and finished with 12 rebounds, while Teague totaled 24 points with 13 assists to help Atlanta secure a trip back to the postseason for a sixth consecutive year.
"I'm really proud of this bunch and what we've accomplished tonight," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "There were a lot of people who counted us out at the start of the season, didn't think we'd be in this position with all the changes we made. Here we are, we solidified a spot in the postseason."
Josh Smith contributed 19 points in the victory.
Rudy Gay returned from a one-game absence to tally 15 points, 12 rebounds and two steals, but the Raptors dropped their fifth in a row.
Jonas Valanciunas finished with 19 points and eight boards, while Terrence Ross and Alan Anderson supplied 13 and 12 points, respectively, in the setback.
The Hawks, after slashing away at their halftime deficit in the third, took complete control early in the fourth and never looked back.
Horford broke a 77-77 tie with a long jumper and then scored six more during a 14-0 surge, which Teague capped with consecutive 3-pointers for a 95-80 Atlanta advantage with 5:20 to play.
The Raptors were plagued by turnovers all game and it eventually caught up with them, committing five in the fourth, where they were outscored 32-13. They fell behind by as many as 21 in the final minutes before it was over.
"We've got to be physical, got to meet the challenge and grab the bull by the horns," said an agitated Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "We got to be desperate, the physical challenge, that's the NBA. But it goes back to the turnovers, that was the culprit that started everything."
Toronto, though, got off to a good start and held a 54-44 lead at the break following a last-second fadeaway jumper from DeMar DeRozan, who scored seven of his 12 first-half points in the last four-plus minutes of the second frame.
But Atlanta started its comeback after halftime, whittling its deficit down over the course of the third and seven minutes through jumped in front, 68-67, following back-to-back buckets from Horford.
Horford and Smith each scored 10 in the quarter, and the Hawks entered the fourth tied, 75-75.
Gay helped Toronto out to the early lead, contributing a pair of driving scores to open a 20-11 edge and the Raptors carried a five-point cushion into the second.
A 3-pointer from Shelvin Mack sparked a quarter-opening 9-2 push to put Atlanta ahead 29-27, but the Raptors fired back with a 14-4 run and never trailed the rest of the quarter.
The Hawks' Kyle Korver has made at least one 3-pointer in 65 straight games and will tie Reggie Miller for the fourth longest streak in league history by accomplishing the feat in his next three games .The Raptors have lost 12 of their last 14 games and have dropped the first two meetings with Atlanta so far this season. The clubs will wrap up their season series on April 16 ... The Hawks scored 24 points off Toronto's 20 turnovers ... DeRozan scored just two points in the second half.