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Raptors suspend Ibaka after incident with team staff member

/ 04:06 PM December 30, 2017

Serge Ibaka #9 of the Toronto Raptors reacts after scoring against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on December 13, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Raptors defeated the Suns 115-109. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

The Toronto Raptors didn’t miss a beat without suspended Spanish power forward Serge Ibaka on Friday as 25 points from DeMar DeRozan powered them to a 111-98 NBA victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

The Raptors improved to 13-1 on their home court this season.

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They took a 19-point lead into the fourth quarter but the Hawks narrowed the gap to 13 points on a three-pointer from Tyler Cavanaugh with 8:30 to play.

The Hawks twice trimmed the deficit to nine in the final minute and a half, but the Raptors held on.

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Kyle Lowry scored 12 points and handed out five assists for Toronto. Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who announced before the game that they had suspended Spanish power forward Serge Ibaka for the contest after he was involved in an altercation with a team staff member.

The Raptors said Ibaka violated team rules in the incident, which took place after the Raptors’ 124-107 loss at Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

“Both parties have apologized. We’ve discussed this internally as a team, and we won’t be discussing it any further,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said.

“Now we’re focused on moving forward together, and we look forward to having Serge back in the lineup.”

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TAGS: Atlanta Hawks, NBA, Serge Ibaka, Suspension, Toronto Raptors
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