NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Philadelphia
(Tuesday, March 31st)
Final Score: Philadelphia 98, Atlanta 85
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The 76ers used a balanced team effort following the loss of Thaddeus Young to a sprained right ankle in the first quarter, and Philadelphia got past Atlanta, 98-85, at the Wachovia Center.
Andre Iguodala led the way with 19 points and Andre Miller scored 18 with a game-high 10 assists for Philly, which had dropped back-to-back bouts on the heels of a three-game winning streak.
The Sixers lost Young when he went up for a block and landed on the foot of Atlanta's Josh Smith, exiting with 2:15 remaining in the first. The second- year pro had scored 20 or more points in seven straight games entering Tuesday, but did not return. He was helped into the locker room and had x- rays, which were negative, and will have an MRI exam performed on Wednesday.
Marreese Speights stepped up and provided 16 points while Willie Green did the same with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
The Sixers currently hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, a half-game behind Miami and now four games behind Atlanta for the fourth spot, which carries with it home-court in the first round of the playoffs.
Smith dropped a season-high 33 points on 13-of-15 shooting for the Hawks, who were coming off arguably their best win of the season, an 86-76 triumph over the West's best in the Lakers.
"After coming off the Lakers (win) we just seemed satisfied. We still have alot of games left to play in. We've just got to keep pushing," Hawks head coach Mike Woodson said.
Ronald Murray scored 19 with five boards and six assists off the bench and Joe Johnson added 11 points and seven assists in the loss.
The Hawks cut a double-digit deficit to eight entering the fourth and opened the final frame with an 8-1 run as Smith's alley-oop slam made it a one-point game at 78-77.
Smith's layup moments later kept the visitors within three but Philadelphia reeled off 14 of the next 16 points to take back control of the game.
"I was telling the guys; what are we made of. This situation, we've been through this so many times this year. Early on, we were losing these games but as of lately we've been able to pull them out. Everybody, chipped in, in some way to get that win," said Iguodala about what he said to his teammates after Atlanta cut the lead to one.
A Theo Ratliff theft and subsequent slam by Iguodala ran the Sixers' lead to 94-81 with four minutes to play and the Hawks never recovered. Ratliff's steal was preceded by his back-to-back buckets, making the most of his 10-plus minutes of floor time.
Atlanta went nearly the final nine minutes without a field goal.
"We came out and didn't establish ourselves on the offensive end," Woodson said. "We got down and just couldn't recover."
Philadelphia led 28-16 after the opening 12 minutes and forged ahead by 14, 51-37, at halftime.
The 76ers closed out the first half with a 17-9 run as Speights stepped up with a pair of hook shots, finishing with nine points and ending things with a layup.
Atlanta shot just 38.2 percent from the floor compared to the Sixers' 50 percent clip shooting over the first 24 minutes.
The 76ers continued to hold a double-digit advantage in the third as jumpers by Iguodala and Green made it a 64-48 game with just under seven minutes left in the frame.
Smith and Johnson got three-pointers to fall for Atlanta around a Reggie Evans deuce on the other end, cutting the lead to 10 with 2 1/2 minutes to go. Murray followed with another triple to get the Hawks within seven before finishing down eight, 77-69, entering the final stanza.
The Sixers opened a three-game homestand with the win and will also take on Milwaukee and Detroit...Philadelphia took the season series from Atlanta, 2-1, with the victory...The Hawks are 29-9 in Atlanta but just 14-23 as the visitor...The Sixers moved to 22-15 at home this season...Young ended with six points on 3-of-8 shooting...Iguodala also had eight assists while Evans posted eight points and six boards off the bench.
03/31 23:22:25 ET