Eyes on the 2 Seed

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Healthy Raptors Take Down the Hawks, Remain One Game Out of Second

Whatever has gotten into Norman Powell this season, let’s hope it doesn’t stop anytime soon.

As the NBA celebrated Martin Luther King Day, the Toronto Raptors took on a young and exciting Atlanta Hawks team in a rare Monday afternoon game. A contest that had its ups and down, the Raptors withstood a fourth quarter push from the Hawks, overcoming yet another brilliant performance from budding star Trae Young to take home a 122-117 win.

Up 21 points at one point in the fourth quarter, the Powell came up absolutely huge again, scoring 17 of his team-high 27 points in the final frame to help preserve the victory.

“I’m just taking the same shots I’ve been taking,” Powell said following the Raptors fourth consecutive victory. “I have confidence in my game, confidence in my shot.”

Powell is nearly doubling his last year’s points per game total in what has been a coming out party of a season for the former UCLA Bruin.

“It was just him being him,” Trae Young, who finished with 42 points in 15 assists in the loss, said of Powell. “He’s a great scorer. … It’s tough when he gets going.”

The Raptors had six players in double-digits on the day. Fred VanVleet had yet another strong game, finishing with 20 points, while Pascal Siakam finished with 18 points and six boards in the victory. Marc Gasol continued his strong play since his returned from injury as well, totalling 14 points and five boards.

With the win, the Raptors remain one game out of the two seed after the Miami Heat overcame the Sacramento Kings in overtime later in the day. The Raptors will look to keep their win streak going when the Philadelphia 76ers visit the Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday evening.

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