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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 21st (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (15-8) at Philadelphia 76ers (12-14), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia 76ers will try end a five-game losing streak on Friday night when they welcome the Atlanta Hawks to the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers haven't won since a home victory Dec. 10 against the Detroit Pistons. Since, they've dropped three on the road and two at home and four of those losses came without point guard Jrue Holiday.
The candidate for Most Improved Player has been sidelined with a sprained left foot. Holiday will be a game-time decision, as will the other emerging star for the Sixers, Evan Turner. The former No. 2 pick in the draft sprained his left ankle in a Wednesday loss in Houston to the Rockets.
Against the Rockets, James Harden paced Houston with 33 points, but the team shot 56 percent from the field. The game turned into a laugher, although Dorell Wright and Nick Young both went for over 20 off the Sixers' bench in the 125-103 setback.
"We hung in there for about as long as we could," said Philadelphia head coach Doug Collins. "We just couldn't get any stops and Harden controlled the game. We are just so undermanned."
With Holiday and Turner's availability unknown, the Sixers may be without another point guard option as Maalik Wayns injured his right foot in the loss to Houston.
The injury news might get even worse for Collins. Andrew Bynum, who hasn't played a minute yet this season, underwent an examination Thursday in New York and the results are expected Friday.
The Hawks fell to the Thunder at home on Wednesday, 100-92 and are losers in two of their last three. Josh Smith registered a double-double in the loss with 17 points and 12 rebounds and Jeff Teague led the team with 19 points.
"We're not a team that's going to lay down, but we've had a couple of tough games here," guard Kyle Korver said. "We definitely have to get better and we have to learn from these losses."
The Hawks have lost five in a row to the Sixers, but own the Eastern Conference's best road record at 7-3. They have won five of their last six away from home.
The Hawks may be without guard Devin Harris, who missed Wednesday's game with a foot injury. Reserve guard Lou Williams will be ready to go as he faces his former team for the first time. Williams spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Sixers, but signed with Atlanta in the offseason.
With a win on Friday, Hawks coach Larry Drew will become the eighth Hawks coach to reach 100 wins. He would do it in 171 games, which would be the second-fastest behind only Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens.
12/21 10:41:43 ET
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