The Atlanta Hawks hope to get two key pieces of their starting lineup back on Saturday when they host the Toronto Raptors, a team that has beaten them 10 straight times.
The Hawks have lost three straight games and four of their past five. Toronto posted its third straight win on Friday, 123-117 over the Brooklyn Nets.
It will be the first meeting between the Hawks and Raptors this season. Toronto swept all three games against Atlanta last season. The Hawks haven’t beaten the Raptors since March 10, 2017.
The Hawks played without their two of their three leading scorers in Thursday’s 112-91 loss to the Utah Jazz, and there’s no guarantee either will return on Saturday. Trae Young (first at 26.6 points) missed the game with a right thigh bruise and De’Andre Hunter (third, 17.2) missed his third straight game with right knee soreness. Without them the Hawks shot a season-low 32.7 percent from the field.
“We looked like a team that’s missing a lot of offensive power and depth,” Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce said. “If you’re shooting 30 percent for the game, it’s going to be hard to win, and it caught up to us in the second half.”
Atlanta continues to have trouble when Young is resting or injured. The Hawks started veteran Rajon Rondo at point guard on Thursday, but he failed to score in 28 minutes. He is 0-for-11 from the field in the past two games. Rondo has played only 12 games and continues to be limited by ongoing knee issues. His offense — 3.5 points per game — has been missing, but his impact is still felt.