The Atlanta Hawks are rested and ready to end the season on a high note.
Sitting just 3.5 games behind fourth-place Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference standings with four games left in the season, the Hawks head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers with their full roster (aside from the season-ending injuries to Zaza Pachulia and Lou Williams), and a fighter’s chance to gain home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Nets would have to lose their last five remaining games and the Hawks would have to win out in order to supplant Brooklyn for fourth-place. They would also have to leapfrog above fifth-place Chicago, who leads Atlanta by a half game.
Devin Harris, Al Horford, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and DeShawn Stevenson all missed Atlanta’s game in San Antonio on Saturday, but are expected to go in Philly Wednesday.
Harris has been dealing with an ailing left foot and missed six of the last eight games, including the previous three straight. He received a PRP injection in his toe last Wednesday and hopes to be injury-free for the next month (when the shot wears off).
Horford had a sore hamstring, Korver kept quiet with a non-disclosed injury, Smith sat with a sore knee and Stevenson always sits on the second night of back-to-backs because of sore knees.
With the team’s plethora of injuries, they were carried by career-high performances from rookies Mike Scott and John Jenkins, who played for the first time since sustaining a mild concussion in Boston on March 29.
Jenkins poured in 23 points on seven-of-nine shooting, including hitting all three 3-point attempts while sinking six-of-six shots from the charity-stripe, to go with four rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes of action.
Scott chipped in 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting and added six boards and two helpers.
A day before the Hawks fell short in San Antonio, they were smacked at home by the 76ers Friday night. Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes all posted double-doubles in their 11-point victory over Atlanta.
However, Philadelphia was brought down to earth Saturday night in Miami as LeBron James came back from a three-game injury stint and dropped 27 points in 29 minutes of action.
Philly lost again Tuesday night as they were beaten in Brooklyn 104-83. Reggie Evans powered the Nets with 17 points and 24 rebounds. He had 10 points and 10 boards in the first quarter alone.
So not only did the Sixers knock the Hawks down a game in the standings by winning Friday, they pushed Brooklyn up a game in the playoff race by losing Tuesday.
Screw you, 76ers!
Who?: Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers
What?: Series Finale (Game #79, Road Game #40)
Where?: Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, PA)
When?: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – 7:00 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680 AM & 93.7 FM
Projected Starting Lineups:
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kyle Korver | SF: DeShawn Stevenson | PF: Josh Smith | C: Al Horford
PG: Jrue Holiday | SG: Damien Wilkins | SF: Evan Turner | PF: Thaddeus Young | C: Spencer Hawes
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Devin Harris (sore left foot) and John Jenkins (mild concussion) are probable. Zaza Pachulia (Achilles surgery) and Lou Williams (torn right ACL) are out.
Philadelphia 76ers: Andrew Bynum (bilateral arthroscopic knee surgery) and Jason Richardson (left knee surgery) are out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (42-36) … Philadelphia 76ers (31-46)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 3 / HOME: Lost 2 / ROAD: Lost 2 … Philadelphia 76ers –> OVERALL: Lost 2 / HOME: Won 4 / ROAD: Lost 2
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (18-21) away … 76ers are (22-17) at home.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. Three-game losing streak.
Philadelphia 76ers: Cold. Lost two in a row.
Season/Past Season Series
The Hawks visit Philadelphia for the second time this year in the fourth-and-final battle with the 76ers. The 76ers own a 2-1 record against Atlanta, winning the first meeting in Philadelphia, 99-80, on 12/21. The teams split two games at Philips Arena, with Atlanta winning 107-96 on 3/6 and dropping a 101-90 decision on 4/5. Al Horford is averaging 15.3 points and 10.0 rebounds against the 76ers this season (two double-doubles). The Sixers have won four straight home games against the Hawks, with Atlanta’s last win in Philadelphia coming on 10/29/10 (104-101). The 76ers lead the all-time series 159-158 (90-49 at home).
LAST MEETING — 76ERS 101, HAWKS 90 — PHILIPS ARENA (ATL, GA) — 4/5/13
The Hawks couldn’t overcome Philadelphia’s scorching start, falling 101-90 at Philips Arena. The 76ers knocked down 16-22 FGs (.727), 4-4 3FGs and 4-4 FTs in the opening stanza, outscoring the home team 40-26 (tied for the highest scoring quarter of the season by an opponent). Trailing by as-many-as-20 in the fourth, Atlanta crept within nine (99-90) with under a minute to go, but could get no closer. Josh Smith led the Hawks with 19 points and Al Horford posted another double-double (18 points/10 rebounds). Ivan Johnson scored 17 off the bench, while Jeff Teague added 12 and Kyle Korver 11. All three members of the Sixers starting frontcourt, Evan Turner (24 points/11 rebounds), Spencer Hawes (19 points/12 boards) and Thaddeus Young (14 points/13 rebounds), recorded double-doubles. Philly had a 11-3 edge in second chance points and 19-11 in points off turnovers. The Sixers also knocked down 9-16 3FGs (.563), while Atlanta managed 5-17 (.294) from distance.
Lou Williams played 455 games for Philadelphia from 2005-12. Kyle Korver was with the 76ers for four-plus years (2003 through part of the 2007-08 season). Shelvin Mack was with the Sixers earlier this year, seeing action in four games. Bob Bender is a former 76ers assistant coach. Lester Conner was associate head coach for the Sixers in 2004-05. Hawks assistant coach Bob Weiss was the 22nd overall pick in the 1965 NBA Draft by Philadelphia and played two seasons with the club. Damien Wilkins is the nephew of Hawks Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins, and spent 2010-11 with Atlanta. Royal Ivey was a second round pick of the Hawks in 2004 and played three years with the team. Thaddeus Young played college ball at Georgia Tech in 2006-07. Sixers associate head coach Michael Curry grew up in Augusta and attended Georgia Southern. Spencer Hawes is the nephew of Steve Hawes, who played for the Hawks from 1976-83. Kwame Brown played his high school ball at Glynn Academy in Brunswick, GA. Johan Petro and Wilkins were teammates with Seattle/Oklahoma City from 2005-09. DeShawn Stevenson and Nick Young played together with the Wizards (2007 through part of the 2009-10 season).
Information was used from the Hawks and Sixers official gamenotes