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Wednesday August 17th, 2022 7:07AM

Siakam has 31 as Raptors beat Hawks to clinch playoff spot

By The Associated Press
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TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 31 points and 13 rebounds, Scottie Barnes added 19 points and 14 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors clinched a playoff berth by beating the Atlanta Hawks 118-108 on Tuesday night.

Chris Boucher scored 18 points, Gary Trent Jr. had 14, Fred VanVleet 12 and Precious Achiuwa 11. Toronto has won 12 of 16. This victory, coupled with Cleveland’s loss at Orlando, ensured the Raptors (46-33) will finish no lower than sixth in the Eastern Conference.

Sixth place is the last guaranteed postseason spot, with teams finishing in the Nos. 7-10 spots headed for the play-in tournament.

Trae Young had 26 points and 15 assists for the Hawks, who lost for the first time in six games and locked themselves into a play-in berth. Atlanta (41-38) and Brooklyn are 1 1/2 games behind seventh-place Cleveland.

Kevin Huerter scored 21 points, De’Andre Hunter had 20 and Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with 19. Clint Capela had 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Toronto led 102-92 after Barnes made a 3-pointer with 7:38 left in the fourth quarter, but Atlanta answered with a 10-0 run, tying it at 102-all on Young’s basket with 4:29 remaining.

Young gave the Hawks their first lead of the fourth quarter by making one of two from the line with 2:53 to play, but Achiuwa made one to tie it and Barnes ended Toronto’s drought of 5 minutes, 45 seconds by converting a putback layup with 1:53 to go.

After Bogdanovic missed a 3, VanVleet connected from distance for Toronto, giving the Raptors a 108-103 lead with just over a minute left.

Young scored nine points in the first and Toronto shot 0 for 8 from 3-point range as the Hawks led 31-27 after one quarter.

After 12 misses from distance to begin the game, Young connected on Toronto’s first 3 with 1:12 left in the first half. Siakam scored 10 points in the second as the Raptors led 56-52 at the intermission.

Siakam scored 13 points in the third as Toronto took an 89-83 lead to the fourth.

TIP-INS

Hawks: F Danilo Gallinari sat because of a sore left knee. … Bogdanovic had nine rebounds.

Raptors: Coach Nick Nurse said F OG Anunoby’s sore left thigh is “much improved” but held the injured forward out for a second straight game. … VanVleet had nine assists and Siakam had six.

UP NEXT

Hawks: Host Washington on Wednesday night

Raptors: Host Philadelphia on Thursday night.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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