At the Buzzer | Tight Battle Goes to Atlanta

by Lauren Rosen

At the Buzzer:

In what would be a close game from wire to wire, the Atlanta Hawks (12-29) came to South Philadelphia ready to fight.

With Joel Embiid (right ankle soreness) sidelined, the 76ers (27-16) turned to Jimmy Butler (30 pts, 5 ast, 3 stl) and Ben Simmons (23 pts, 10 reb, 15 ast), but fell just short, 123-121.

Tied at 121 with time winding down in the fourth quarter, John Collins hit a go-ahead 2-point jumper to seal the deal for the Hawks with 9.5 on the clock.

Jimmy Butler was fouled with the opportunity to tie the game from the line, but missed his first free throw. Butler then deliberately missed his second shot, but Wilson Chandler failed to convert the tip-in as time expired.

Brett Brown thought that ultimately, defense made the difference.

“We need more,” Brown said, "and I believe it’s in them.”

T.J. McConnell matched his second-highest scoring total this season with 16 pts (7-8 shooting) off the bench. Simmons also collected his seventh triple-double of the season.

He ranks second in the league in that category.

Led by Kevin Huerter (29 pts) and John Collins (25 pts, 9 reb), the Hawks evened the season series 1-1.

Hawks’ head coach and former Sixers’ assistant coach Lloyd Pierce returned to The Center Friday for the second time as a head coach.

Friday marks Pierce’s first win over Brown, his mentor.

The Hawks excelled in the paint in Embiid’s absence, scoring 62 points. They also outrebounded the Sixers, 44-30.

Click here for a complete box score.

Sixers Social:

Sidelined with lower back tightness during the Sixers’ home-and-home dance with the Wizards, JJ Redick (20 pts) returned to the court, tying the game twice with three-pointers in the fourth.

Up Next:

The Sixers will travel to New York City to face the Knicks (10-32) Sunday. The Sixers lead the season series 2-0, topping the Knicks 117-91 and 131-109 at home. Led by Tim Hardaway Jr. (20 ppg), the Knicks have dropped 11 of their last 12.

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