Dire Raptors continue to struggle

14 December 2012 13:27:17 EST

The Atlantic Division cellar dwelling Toronto Raptors are back in action on Friday evening when they welcome in the Dallas Mavericks.

Just 4-19 overall and with a single victory in the last 13 outings, the Raptors will close out their three-game home stand against the Houston Rockets on Sunday before leaving to play the equally inept Cavaliers in Cleveland on Tuesday.

Cleveland are also in action on Friday when the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Quickens Loan Arena. Winners of three straight, the Bucks trail the Central Division leading Chicago Bulls by a half-game in a division that appears to be a three-way battle between the Bucks, 6000/1 to win the NBA Championship, the Bulls (7500/1) and the Pacers (8/1).

On Thursday, the Atlanta Hawks moved into a tie with the Miami Heat atop the Southeast Division when they defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 113-90 at the Philips Arena.

Devin Harris came off the bench to lead all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting as Atlanta hit an impressive 57% from the field. Harris, along with DeShawn Stevenson and Louis Williams, rained down from beyond the arc for a combined 10-of-20 as part of a 14 3-pointer evening.

On Saturday at Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks will look for their fourth consecutive victory when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit.

At 17-5, the Knicks own the best record in the Eastern Conference and lead the chasing Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics by four-and-a-half games. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers were no match for the Knicks who eased to a 116-107 triumph.

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