There will be a basketball game tonight at Philips Arena after all. The Toronto Raptors finally managed to escape from Indianapolis and make it to Atlanta in time for Wednesday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks.
The third time was the charm for the team's charter (Air Canada Flight No. 7045), which took off from Indy at 9:25 a.m. and landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport just over an hour later.
The Raptors have tried to leave Indiana's capital city for three days, but the winter megastorm that has gripped a large swath of the country from Texas to Maine, prevented the team's plane from getting off of the ground. Toronto originally tried to flee right after the team's 104-93 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, but the plane was already encased in ice by the time the team got to the airport and the flight had to be scrubbed.
Airport crews tried to ready the Airbus 320 the next day, but faced with a shortage of deicing equipment and deteriorating conditions at the airport, that flight was scrubbed after nearly five hours. With the worst of the winter storm behind them, the Raptors were finally able to leave early Wednesday morning.
Mother Nature added another monkey wrench into what has been a miserable season thus far for the Raptors. Toronto's beleaguered basketball team is in the midst of a tailspin and is looking to avoid its first 13 game losing streak in almost nine years.
The Hawks face a Toronto team that has dropped eight straight on the highway and that has surrendered 100 points or more over their last eight games.
Atlanta is looking for its sixth straight home win over Toronto at Philips Arena. They are coming off of a 102-91 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the second of another set of back-to-back games on Saturday night in Texas. The Hawks played with the Mavs through three periods before tiring in the fourth quarter.
Joe Johnson had 27 points for Atlanta, which missed 11 of 15 shots in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks have won nine of their last 11 over the Raptors -- including the first two matchups this season. They look to sweep the season set from the Raptors for the first time since the 1998-99 season.