NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 31st (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (31-22) at Philadelphia 76ers (28-23), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - And just like that the Philadelphia 76ers are out of first place in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers had set up camp for quite some time atop the Atlantic and were seeded fourth in the conference until last night's embarrassing 97-76 road loss to the lowly Washington Wizards. Philadelphia is back home and will entertain the Atlanta Hawks Saturday from Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia fell one game behind Boston for the division lead and lost for the sixth time in nine tries in D.C. Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams both scored 14 points for the Sixers, who had won five in a row against Washington and got 11 points from Evan Turner.
"I could just see we weren't ready. For whatever reason, we weren't ready," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said.
Sixers All-Star Andre Iguodala had seven points in his return to the lineup. He missed the previous two games due to tendinitis in his left knee. The 76ers are 8-14 since opening the shortened season with a 20-9 mark. They have lost eight of their past 14 home games after winning 12 of the first 14 at Wells Fargo Center (18-10 mark overall).
Philly is now seventh in the East -- two games behind the sixth-seeded Hawks.
Atlanta has won seven of its last 10 games, including Friday's 100-90 home victory over former head coach Mike Woodson and the surging New York Knicks.
Former Sixer Willie Green scored 15 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, while Joe Johnson and Josh Smith contributed 28 and 23 points, respectively, for the Hawks, who sit just a half-game behind Indiana for the fifth spot in the conference.
"I was just trying to stay aggressive," said Green, who tied a season high for points scored. "By me staying aggressive they (shots) started going down. Another one goes down, another one goes down and before you know it, you got it going (on). That's the way it went."
The Hawks ended a two-game slide and will look to build on their 14-14 record away from home tonight.
Atlanta is trying to avoid being swept in a season series against Philadelphia for the first time since the 76ers won all three matchups in 2000-01. The Sixers are 2-0 against Atlanta this season and have won four straight overall and 11 of 15 as the host.
03/31 10:53:36 ET