Lowry leads Raptors past Hawks for eighth straight win

TORONTO (AP) — Kyle Lowry locked up another spot in Raptors franchise history and got a hearty congratulations from the high-flying star who was once the face of basketball in Toronto.

Lowry had 12 points and 11 assists while becoming Toronto’s career assist leader and the Raptors beat the Atlanta Hawks 130-114 on Tuesday night for their season-best eighth straight win.

Serge Ibaka had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Pascal Siakam added 24 points and Fred VanVleet had 19 as the Raptors won their 10th in a row over Atlanta. Toronto never trailed and led by as many as 28, maintaining a double-digit edge throughout the second half.

With his ninth assist, a long outlet pass to Terence Davis in the fourth, Lowry moved past Jose Calderon (3,770) on Toronto’s career list.

Lowry said it was special to reach the milestone with former Raptors star Vince Carter in attendance as a member of the Hawks.

“It was awesome to be able to get it here tonight, in front of the home crowd, in front of Vince,” Lowry sad. “He didn’t start the organisation but he kind of put it on the map and continued to make this thing grow. He’s always been a big supporter of mine and the Raptors.”

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague defends. PHOTO: AP

Lowry and Carter, who are friends and golf buddies, embraced near half court after the record was announced late in the game.

“He’s very crafty, he’s very smart,” Carter said of Lowry. “His basketball IQ is up there with some of the best in my opinion.”

Calderon tweeted a congratulatory video to Lowry, who finished with eight rebounds and narrowly missed his second triple-double of the season.

“If somebody had to do it, I’m really happy that it’s you,” Calderon told Lowry. “Enjoy this moment and many more.”

Lowry is already Toronto’s franchise leader in three-point field goals and steals.

John Collins had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and Trae Young had 18 points and 13 assists for the Hawks.

Cam Reddish also scored 18 points, De’Andre Hunter had 15 and Carter added 10 as Atlanta lost for the fourth time in six games.

“We could have made this game a little bit different with the defensive intensity,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “We lacked that, really, because the shots weren’t falling and we let that affect us.”

Raptors centre Marc Gasol scored 10 points but was unable to return after leaving early in the third because of a sore left hamstring. Gasol missed 12 games because of a strained left hamstring between December 18 and January 12.

Toronto also lost forward OG Anunoby to a sore left shoulder late in the game. Coach Nick Nurse had no update on either of his injured starters following the game.