Gay leads Raptors to easy win

DeMar DeRozan takes a shot during his 19 points performance.

ATLANTA – Rudy Gay added 22 points and Amir Johnson had 11 points, eight rebounds and a season-high six blocked shots as the Toronto Raptors won their fourth in a row by defeating Atlanta Hawks 113-96 and improved to 6-1 in their last seven games.

Kyle Korver scored 13 points and Ivan Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, who dropped into a tie for fifth place with Chicago Bulls with one game left. The Bulls, who own the tiebreaker, host Washington Wizards while the Hawks visit New York Knicks tomorrow.

DeRozan (19) and Gay combined for 36 points in the opening half as Toronto set a season high for points in rolling to a 68-51 lead into the break. The Raptors shot 66.7 percent in the first half and 70.6 (12-of-17) in the second quarter to seize control.

In Los Angeles the Clippers beat the short-handed Portland Trailblazers 93-77 at Staples Center to boost their hopes for home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

Thanks to a sizzling start to the second quarter, they managed to break the game open, build a 19-point lead and essentially coast.

Caron Butler scored 22 points, Blake Griffin added 16 and DeAndre Jordan had 10.

The wide margin enabled Griffin and Chris Paul to play as few minutes as possible: Griffin 27 and Paul 25.

The Clippers’ task was made considerably easier when Portland arrived at Staples Center without starters LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews, all of whom have been shut down for the rest of the season battling various ailments.

The match between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers was cancelled following the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy.

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