NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 31st (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (43-31) at Philadelphia 76ers (37-35), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The playoff-hopeful Philadelphia 76ers attempt to put the brakes on an inopportune two-game losing streak when they open a three-game homestand against the Atlanta Hawks at the Wachovia Center tonight.
The Sixers currently hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, one game behind Miami and five full games behind Atlanta for the fourth spot.
Philadelphia dropped its second straight in Auburn Hills on Sunday when the team went ice cold in the fourth quarter. The lightly-regarded Will Bynum scored nine of his 12 points in the fourth quarter in that one to spark the Detroit Pistons to a 101-97 victory over the 76ers.
With the win, Detroit pulled within 1 1/2 games of the Sixers for the No. 6 seed in the East.
Andre Iguodala posted 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Philly, which has dropped the back-to-back bouts on the heels of a three-game winning streak. Thaddeus Young added 22 points and Andre Miller ended with 13 points and six assists in the setback.
Sixers center Samuel Dalembert left the contest in the first quarter with a calf injury and didn't return. He is listed as questionable for tonight's game.
The Sixers, who are 21-15 at home, will finish the homestand with games against Milwaukee and Detroit.
The playoff-bound Hawks, meanwhile, are coming off one of their best wins of the season, an 86-76 triumph over the West's best team, the Los Angeles Lakers, in Atlanta on Sunday.
Mike Bibby went 5-of-6 from three-point range for 21 points in that one as Atlanta defeated LA to keep a firm hold on the fourth position in the Eastern Conference.
Flip Murray contributed 14 points for the Hawks, who stopped a two-game slide and hold a four-game lead on the Heat for home-court in the first round of the playoffs with eight games to play.
Joe Johnson had only 10 points on 4-of-18 shooting, but Atlanta held the Lakers under 20 points in three of the four quarters played and kept the West leaders to a season-low in points.
Josh Smith provided nine points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks in the win, and Maurice Evans had 13 points. Zaza Pachulia had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Atlanta.
The two teams have split a pair of meetings in Atlanta this season. The Hawks are 29-9 in Atlanta but just 14-22 as the visitor.
03/31 10:41:08 ET