(Sports Network) - There is still time for the Atlanta Hawks to either improve
or put a damper on their playoff positioning and they will head north
Wednesday night to take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
Currently sixth in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks are one-half game behind
Chicago and 1 1/2 games ahead of Boston with four to play.
Atlanta has dropped three in a row since back-to-back wins and was last in
action during Saturday's 99-97 loss at San Antonio. The Hawks played frisky
all night and trimmed their deficit to 99-95 with 8.6 seconds remaining.
Dahntay Jones was later fouled behind the 3-point line and made the first two
before intentionally missing the third, which was rebounded by the Spurs'
Kawhi Leonard to seal the win.
Hawks coach Larry Drew was impressed with aging superstar Tim Duncan, who
burned Atlanta for 31 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.
"He was up pressuring, but Tim is still Tim," Drew told NBA.com. "Tim's still
good. He's as good as they are in the low post. He takes his time and he is
very, very patient with what he wants to do down in the post. He's still a
Atlanta rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott scored 23 and 22 points,
respectively, off the bench for the Hawks. Ivan Johnson posted 14 points and
Johan Petro delivered 11 and 15 rebounds in the loss. Kyle Korver did not play
against the Spurs and has made at least one 3-pointer in 70 straight games.
Hawks forward Josh Smith (knee) is probable Wednesday and missed Saturday's
game in the Alamo City. He is averaging 17.4 points and 8.5 rebounds.
Meanwhile, the 76ers are playing out the string and will put their four-game
home winning streak on the line Wednesday.
Philadelphia closed out a four-game road trip (1-3) with Tuesday's 104-83
setback at Brooklyn. Nick Young led the guests with 18 points and Jrue Holiday
added 15 for the Sixers, who were burned by Reggie Evans and Brook Lopez all
night. Evans had 17 points and 24 rebounds, while Lopez posted 29 points and
"Brook draws a lot of attention when he has the ball and that gives Reggie the
green light to do what he does best," said Sixers center Spencer Hawes, who
had seven points and six rebounds. "Reggie can rebound and put the ball back
up for easy points. They both beat us really bad tonight."
The 76ers are 22-17 at Wells Fargo Center this season and have beaten Atlanta
twice in three tries this season. Philadelphia is 10-5 in the last 15 matchups
with the Hawks, who have dropped four in a row and 13 of 17 games in south
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