Originally created 12/01/99

Hawks crush Raptors

TORONTO -- The Atlanta Hawks found a perfect cure for their road woes.

Isaiah Rider had 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Hawks continued their dominance of the Toronto Raptors with a 107-89 victory on Tuesday night.

Atlanta, which lost seven of its first eight road games, beat the Raptors for the 15th time in 16 meetings.

"I think we're better than our record," said coach Lenny Wilkins, who team is 6-9 overall. "We came out ready. We had great ball movement and opportunities for shots, and we defended early."

The Hawks made 15 of their first 23 shots and led 36-23 after the first quarter. They led by as many as 24 points in the third period.

"We had a huge first quarter, maybe our best of the season, and that was the difference," said Rider, who sat out the fourth quarter. "We came out and played really hard."

"We're definitely meshing into a better team," said Atlanta guard Jim Jackson, who had 15 points. "We'll probably peak around the end of February or March."

Alan Henderson added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, while Dikembe Mutombo had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

"Atlanta is playing extremely well the last five games," Raptors coach Butch Carter said. "We just didn't match what Isaiah Rider and Jimmy Jackson brought in the first quarter."

Antonio Davis had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who were coming off an impressive 3-2 West Coast trip that included wins over the Lakers and Jazz.

"Just when I think we're on the way our way up and we're about to mature, we take a couple steps back," Davis said. "We didn't do anything aggressive. We just gave them things too easy and we can't do that at home."


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