Wednesday, April 10, 7:00 PM (EST) at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
42-36 (2nd Southeast, 6th East)
31-46 (4th Atlantic, 9th East)
TV: Comcast SportsNet Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM | Live Stats
THE ENEMY: J. TEAGUE | D. JONES | A. TOLLIVER | I. JOHNSON | J. PETRO
Hawks-Sixers This Season
• The Sixers are averaging 98.7 points on 46.8% shooting, while the Hawks are averaging 92.3 points on 46.6 FG%; Philly is outrebounding ATL by an average of 8.3 rebounds per game.
• The Sixers are averaging 28.3 assists, 8.3 steals, and 7.7 three-pointers made (44.2 3P%) per game.
• Thaddeus Young is averaging 16.0 points (63.9 FG%), 10.0 rebounds, and 2.7 steals; Jrue Holiday is averaging 10.3 points on 28.2% shooting.
• Josh Smith is averaging 16.3 points on 52.4% shooting, but has 10 turnovers in the three games; Al Horford is averaging 15.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 blocks per game.
Losses to the Sixers have been rather frequent for the Atlanta Hawks, but coach Larry Drew was seething after a dismal start doomed them in last week's meeting.
He's expecting improvement this time, particularly from Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Jeff Teague.
The trio attempts to lead the playoff-bound Hawks to just their second win in over two years versus Philly, on Wednesday night.
Atlanta (42-36) has lost seven of eight games against the Sixers, including four straight on the road. Those struggles were on display early Friday in a 101-90 home loss. They never recovered from a poor start, allowing the Sixers to connect on 16 of 22 from the floor - hitting all four from beyond the arc - for a season-high 40 first-quarter points.
Drew leveled sharp criticism for that poor start.
"Going back to training camp ... we've had to be a team that is gritty, a blue-collar team, particularly on the defensive end," Drew told the league's official website. "Somewhere along the line, we have forgotten who we are. ... I'm very concerned about the mentality of our team."
Perhaps that gave Drew some added motivation to rest Horford, Smith and Teague in the second game of a back-to-back Saturday. Rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott had season highs of 23 and 22 points, respectively, in a 99-97 loss at San Antonio, as Atlanta's skid reached three games.
"The message is very clear. The last time we played this team, we did not show up," Drew said of facing the Sixers. "I actually had a meeting with Al, Josh and Jeff. Those three guys are the head of the snake for me. I need them playing at a very high level.
"Hopefully, they can look at the San Antonio game and saw how the reserves came in and just competed hard and played hard. I need that type of effort from them as we move forward. They're all in agreement."
The Hawks' last visit to Philadelphia resulted in a 99-80 defeat on Dec. 21, when Smith led the way with 17 points while Horford and Teague combined for 12.
Horford averages 11.1 points in eight road games versus the Sixers. The center had 18 with 10 boards Friday, while Smith scored 19 with Teague contributing 12 with nine assists.
With four games left, the Hawks have already clinched a sixth straight trip to the playoffs, but seeding is still unclear. They're sixth in the Eastern Conference, one-half game back of fifth-place Chicago and 1 1/2 in front of Boston.
Philadelphia (31-46) is out of the postseason race, and followed the win over Atlanta with a 106-87 defeat at Miami on Saturday before losing 104-83 at Brooklyn on Tuesday.
The Sixers have shot 38.9 percent over the last two games, capping a 1-3 road trip by being outrebounded 67-34 by the Nets.
Evan Turner has totaled 25 points over the past two contests, one more than his output against the Hawks on Friday, when he scored 10 in the first quarter. He had 21 points while hitting 10 of 17 from the floor in the most recent home matchup.