Sharp-shooting rookie John Jenkins played a team-high 33 minutes for Atlanta and helped his Hawks shoot past the 76ers in Philadelphia 124-101 Wednesday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.
This was only Jenkins’ second game back after sustaining a mild concussion in Boston on March 29. In his return on April 6 at San Antonio, he led a short-handed Hawks team with a career-high 23 points. However, the Spurs escaped with 99-97 win.
Against the 76ers on Wednesday, Jenkins scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter and finished with 21 for the game on 8-of-13 shooting, including sinking 3-of-4 from the perimeter. He also dished out six assists.
Jenkins is shooting 15-of-22 combined over the past two games.
Fellow rookie Mike Scott — who also scored a career-high at San Antonio — had 17 points in 18 minutes against Philadelphia, while shooting 60 percent overall and grabbing eight rebounds.
Josh Smith shot an efficient 11-of-18 from the field, finishing with 28 points to go with 12 rebounds (both game-highs). Saturday’s day off really helped his free-throw shooting, as he was stunningly perfect from the charity-stripe going 5-for-5 from the line. The previous two games before Saturday he was 1-11 combined, including going 0-7 in New York.
Al Horford had a solid game with 16 points, nine boards (four offensive), three assists and two steals. Jeff Teague rounded out the bunch with 13 points and 11 assists.
Philly jumped out to an early 11-6 lead to start the game, but a 3-pointer from Jenkins and driving layup from Teague in the final minute gave ATL the lead 27-25 after the first quarter.
The Hawks extended their advantage to eight points by halftime.
Then they exploded in the third.
An 18-6 outburst pushed Atlanta’s edge to 20 points, and they cruised down the stretch for the 124-101 victory.
The Hawks shot 53.8 percent (49-of-91) from the field and 94. 7 percent (18-of-19) from the foul-line. 25 of their 52 points in the paint were scored via the fast break.
This was a much different result for the 76ers than five days ago in Philips Arena, when they handled the Hawks 101-90.
Thaddeus Young was sensational in the first half with 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting. It was the most points scored in a half by any Philadelphia player this season. He finished the game with 28 points and eight rebounds.
Nick Young hit three 3-pointers and racked up 19 points off the bench on six-of-nine shooting overall, while adding three boards and two assists.
Dorell Wright (14) and Jrue Holiday (12) were also in double-figures.
Holiday struggled again against Atlanta, as he only shot 4-of-14 of Wednesday. In the three previous meetings versus the Hawks this season he averaged 10.7 ppg on 25.6 percent shooting.
Philadelphia now has a three-game losing streak and falls to 31-47 this season. They were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the week.
The Hawks, on the other hand, have already clinched a playoff berth (for the sixth straight season) and are currently tied with the Chicago Bulls for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Chicago owns the tiebreaker.