NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 20th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (11-4) at Philadelphia 76ers (10-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia 76ers try to bounce back from their first home loss of the season this evening when they welcome the Atlanta Hawks to the Wells Fargo Center.
After opening the year with six straight home wins, the Sixers fell for the first time in front of their fans, dropping a 108-104 overtime decision to Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
Trailing by two with time running out in the extra session, Jrue Holiday turned the ball over on a bad pass and Arron Afflalo made two foul shots with two seconds remaining to give the Nuggets the four-point edge and seal the win.
"I trust my guys. I talked to Jrue and he's upset with himself because he knew if he had just taken one more dribble he had that little jump shot," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said. "What ended up happening was that [Andre Miller] fakes at him from the corner like he was coming to help."
Thaddeus Young ended with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Evan Turner added 20 points and 11 boards for Philly, which lost for the first time in four games overall.
The Sixers, who gave up more than 90 points at home for the first time this season, were again without center Spencer Hawes, who will miss tonight's contest as well with a strained left Achilles tendon. The team is 0-2 without him in the lineup this season.
"If it was the Finals I could play," Hawes said. "But, you know, where we are right now and the fact that it's kind of lingering, it's best that you try and get it taken care of."
Atlanta, meanwhile, comes in red-hot following a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. Joe Johnson had 24 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals as Atlanta held off the Trail Blazers to take a 92-89 decision on Wednesday.
Josh Smith added 17 points and 11 boards for Atlanta, which saw a 13-point fourth quarter lead evaporate en route to its fourth straight win.
"Coming in against a team that's playing pretty good this season, it definitely was a test for this ball club. I think that we were able to answer the bell," Smith said.
The team's recent tear has surprisingly coincided with the absence of All-Star center Al Horford, who underwent surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle.
"I think everybody is doubting us because Al went out," Hawks guard Jeff Teague said. "I think it's [made] us tighter. Guys want to win."
The Hawks have lost two of three and three of their last five in Philly.
01/20 11:50:43 ET