When you play bad, you lose bad, and the Hawks played like… Well, you know.
Atlanta was blown out on the road 99-80 to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night, preventing Larry Drew from picking up his 100th win as Hawks head coach. Philly, however, snapped a season-worst five-game losing streak with the victory.
Thaddeus Young powered the Sixers with a 18 points and 11 rebounds while recording five steals and four assists on the night. Third-year wingman Evan Turner scored a team-high 21 points for Philly with teammates Jason Richardson (17), Spencer Hawes (12), and Jrue Holiday (11) also reaching double-figures.
Richardson, the 11-year veteran, found the fountain of youth against Atlanta as he shot 3-of-6 from behind the arc and 7-of-12 overall, along with pulling down eight boards, dishing eight assists, recording two steals and posting a blocked shot in 33 minutes of action.
The Hawks were led by their jack of all trades Josh Smith’ who finished with 17 points and six rebounds in 28 minutes. Al Horford had a rough night, going 2-of-10 overall for just seven points, but did lead the team in minutes played (36), rebounds (8) and blocked shots (3). Former 76er Lou Williams (13) and Kyle Korver (11) also scored in double-figures.
Who?: Atlanta Hawks vs Philadelphia 76ers
What?: Sixers snap five-game losing streak, beat Hawks 99-80
Where?: Wells Fargo Arena (Philadelphia, PA)
When?: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012
How?: Hawks played terrible
The loss was so bad that there is little positive to say, and my mama always told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” (She never said that to me).
In the first half, Ivan and Zaza Pachulia brought some much needed energy, cleaning up the boards for easy putbacks. They combined for 6-10 for 13 points and 8 rebounds in the first half alone. “Fourth Quarter Lou” turned into “Third Quarter Lou” for tonight, going 3-4 with two three pointers in that period but 1-8 in all other quarters.
Despite more ill-advised long range shots, Josh Smith was still the best Hawk on the floor, which is saying very little. Al Horford again struggled shooting from midrange, finishing 2-10 overall, Teague was invisible although not as much as the usually ghost-like Stevenson, and the bench was of little help.
Philadelphia gashed the Hawks on the boards 45-37 without their largest big men, Andrew Bynum and Kwame Brown, and ran roughshod over the sluggish Hawks defense in the paint and in transition (40-24 and 20-11 respectively). Letting an undermanned and mostly jumpshooting 76ers team shoot over 50% is something that has to make Larry Drew’s blood boil.
On the positive side, holy John Jenkins in garbage time!
This Hawks team is a ton better than what they showed Friday night, as their 15-9 record will attest. There is little time to dwell on the many areas of improvement needed, as the Hawks travel home to take on the Chicago Bulls Saturday night. It is another chance to proven themselves against middle of the pack Eastern Conference fodder. They say the season does not begin until Christmas so let us hope this rings true as Atlanta hits the reset button headed toward the New Year.
Minutes: Evan Turner (41)
Points: Evan Turner (21)
Rebounds: Thaddeus Young (11)
Assists: Jrue Holiday & Jason Richardson (7)
Steals: Thaddeus Young (5)
Blocks: Al Horford (3)
Player of the Game
The Hawks host the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 7:00 PM (ET).