Atlanta's Hawks were back home in Philips Arena Wednesday night hoping to end a three game slide that had seen them drop to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Their opponent, the Philadelphia 76'ers came into the game on the back of their own two game skid that had seen them fall to 23-36 on the season.
The Hawks started the game real sluggish shooting 0-8 from the floor with four turnovers and Philadelphia jumped out to an 8 point lead. Coach Drew changed things up taking Devin Harris out and inserting Kyle Korver to spread the floor. The Hawks fortunes changed from that point as they went on a 9-2 tear to get right back into the game.
Coach Drew said of the sluggish start, "The first game coming back from a road trip is always a tough game. It certainly was tonight. We had some guys that were tired. I'm proud of the fact that they pushed through."
The Hawks ended the first quarter up by seven and continued that dominance into the second quarter going into the half up by 12. Atlanta had Jeff Teague and Anthony Tolliver to thank for pulling them back into the game. Teague went 6 of 8 for 13 points in the first half while Tolliver went 5 of 8 and 3 of 4 from three point range to lead all scorers with 15 points at the half.
"We usually do a good job of defending the 3, but tonight they hurt us from out there, especially Anthony Tolliver.' said Sixer's Coach Doug Collins, 'We were tired but I don't want to use that as an excuse. I just didn't think we had much zip tonight."
He may not have thought the Sixers had much zip but the Hawks started the third quarter in a similar way to the first - pretty cold! A 12 point lead was cut down to 3 midway through the third before Jeff Teague took over, scoring 11 of his 27 points in the third quarter to put the game beyond doubt with a 21 point lead going into the fourth quarter.
While Philadelphia outscored the Hawks by ten points in the fourth the outcome was never in doubt with Atlanta finishing of the game 107-96. Teague led all scorers with 27 while Al Horford and Anthony Tolliver each contributed 21. Lead scorer for the Sixers was Damien Wilkins with 21.
The Hawks moved to 34-26 with the win and travel to Boston to take on the Celtics next on Friday night. The 76'ers take their 23-37 record to Miami to take on the Heat.