Atlanta Hawks: Sixers 95, Hawks 90

Vivlamore reporting from Philadelphia. Here is my updated game story with quotes.

PHILADELPHIA — If the Hawks meet the 76ers in the playoffs they will have a body of work to study — and it’s not good.

Despite a game- and season-high 34-point effort from Josh Smith, the Hawks lost all three regular-season games to the Sixers. The latest was a 95-90 Sixers victory Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Hawks (31-23) lost for the third time in four games as they concluded a stretch of seven games in nine days. They have three days without a game before hosting the Bobcats at Philips Arena Wednesday.

Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala made back-to-back 3-pointers as the Sixers built six-point lead, at 83-77, with 5:05 remaining. Led by Elton Brand’s season-high 25 points, the Sixers (29-23) won an important game in the Eastern Conference playoff race a night after losing to the lowly Wizards.

“Coming down the stretch we didn’t make the plays,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “We missed a couple of defensive assignments and left 3-point shooters open. [Also, there were] the two and-ones by Brand where we gambled in the post and he got the angle on us and got to the basket. It comes down to making plays when you are playing that hard and are right there at the end. You have to make the plays.”

Brand’s basket with 1:30 remaining gave the Sixers a 90-86 lead that all but iced the game. Iguodala added 18 points.

Smith added nine rebounds for the Hawks. Joe Johnson finished with 15 points.

“They beat us to a couple loose balls in the fourth quarter,” Smith said. “It seemed like every time we were a step slow, they capitalized on all of our mistakes.”

The Sixers won the previous two meetings against the Hawks by 11 and 14 points.

Philadelphia is the top defensive team in the NBA, entering the game as the league leader in scoring defense (87.7 points per game) and field-goal defense (42 percent). It was a concern for Drew and the main lesson for the Hawks going forward.

“Right now, they seem to have our number,” Drew said. “We played well in stretches but we haven’t been able to put together consistency in any one game. … We seem to implode against this team. When a team is a good defensive team you have to be prepared to grind it out. All three ball games we were in similar situations where we self destructed at the wrong time.”

Smith scored 13 of the Hawks’ 25 third-quarter points as they erased a narrow halftime deficit and went into the final quarter leading 66-62. Smith picked up four personal fouls during the quarter and spent the final two minutes of the third and start of the fourth on the bench. He returned with 7:30 remaining. Smith fouled out with five seconds remaining after making a 3-pointer that pulled the Hawks within 94-90.

“I sat and I think they took advantage of it early in the fourth quarter,” Smith said.

The Sixers tied the score at 70-70 with 8:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, setting up the decisive final minutes.

The Sixers took a two-point lead, 43-41, at halftime after erasing a nine-point Hawks lead in the second quarter. Iguodala scored nine points in the second quarter to spark the comeback. Brand and Iguodala each scored 12 points in the first half.

The Sixers were 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) in the second quarter, after being held to 8-of-20 (40 percent) in the first.

Smith led the Hawks with 13 first-half points, nine in the first quarter. The Hawks ended the opening period on a 10-0 run to turn a four-point deficit into a 23-17 lead. Seven of Smith’s nine points came with Sixers center Spencer Hawes trying to guard the forward.

“I didn’t want to settle,” Smith said. “I knew he had me length-wise so I wanted to be quick on it. I was able to make some quick moves to the basket and get my rhythm going. But it would have been great if we could have gotten this win.”

The Hawks are sixth in the Eastern Conference and trailed the Pacers, who played at the Spurs Saturday, by a half-game entering the day. The Sixers are battling the Celtics for first place in the Atlantic Division and the fourth seed in the conference. A No. 4 vs. No. 5 playoff matchup between the Sixers and Hawks is a possibility with a month remaining in the season. If it gets to that, the Hawks have a lesson plan to study.

“It could be,” guard Willie Green said of the potential matchup. “They’ve got our number right now. This team, I’m sure, believes they can beat us and they’ve shown it but we’ve got to learn that it’s going to be a physical game. … We lost focus for a little bit down the stretch and they took advantage of it.”

218 comments Add your comment

doc

April 1st, 2012
11:00 am

sautee, you down on em bro. i was tempted to go 8-4 for april, as i was tempted to say 4-9 for feb, got conservative. we will see and why they play the game, right?

phil

April 1st, 2012
11:02 am

Hawks lose.

What’s new?

Waffle House or Bust

April 1st, 2012
11:11 am

Wake up people! This team only care about girls, weed and partying. I know this because a lot of my female friends work at the top bars around Atlanta and these Hawks can’t stay away when home. Get the playoffs over with and break this team up finally.

darrell starks

April 1st, 2012
11:18 am

Joe played 45min last night are you kidding me.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

April 1st, 2012
11:20 am

LD lost this game last night, Zaza not play in the 4th QUARTER and Sixers scores 33points.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
11:27 am

Gone Fishin’!

I do not believe any contender is sitting arounding and hoping to draw Atlanta in round oune either. Jerry Stackhouse said it best, when he said, “We are on their minds.” after, the Hawks lost by one point to the Heat on a Chris Bosh miracle three without the services of Al Horford.

The playoffs contest begins with all teams at 0-0. Being swept during the regular season by the 76ers should not make the 76ers hope they draw the Hawks in round one. I for one, hope they do wish for that if, that is who we draw in round one. It is very difficult to pummel the same team for seven games straight especially when adjustments arwe made play to play and game to game.

What will advance teams will be more about, how the refs are calling the games, which team is most healthy, who has more dogged determination to play relentless defense for 48 total minutes. The ability to exploit favorable matchups and execute plays on both sides of the ball.

TO’s, FTA, FTM, rebounding, hotly contesting the three point shooters, executing an inside – outside game strategy, and playing relentless defense for 48 full minutes, will do more to advance any team than who you draw as an opponent. Defense being the key to heightening the odds of a series win.

When the Jordan Rules kick in from the Chief Gangsta? Don’t get mad – get even. If you score enough points you can take the refs out of the game.

So yeah, Stackhouse’s comment from a players perspective, far out tallies that of a fanatic who has never played one NBA game. Any team for sure wants to avoid the Bulls and Heat in round one, but in reality I would rather play them while fresh and less banged up on the from end of the magic number of 13, than
on the back end of a rugged two series behind me.

Besides, if you want to be the best – you have to beat the best. No way round that one. So, have NO FEAR!

It’s time to WIN or, GO HOME!

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
11:37 am

*on the FRONT end of the magic number 13.

One more thing, I like ‘ole Jerry, don’t believe the Heat are wishing to draw Atlanta in round one either. We match up pretty well.

prison mike

April 1st, 2012
11:44 am

No worries as the April sched is fairly easy. Philly and Boston have harder scheds. Philly has to play 10 road games this month, got dam.

Side note: did you all see my ninja J dub aka Jeff Withey do his thing. Shut down supposedly the best post scorer in college basketball. Take him with the first round pick!!

Rusty

April 1st, 2012
11:44 am

What we have here in Atlanta is a coach who can not coach & causes the team games.

Rusty

April 1st, 2012
11:47 am

I truly believe that any of the top teams would like to get us in the first round,surely we don’t scare any one.

Rusty

April 1st, 2012
11:52 am

Lin might be out for 6 weeks if that was JT LD would be as happy as a pig in mud.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 1st, 2012
11:53 am

Gone Fishin’!

I do not believe any contender is sitting arounding and hoping to draw Atlanta in round oune either. Jerry Stackhouse said it best, when he said, “We are on their minds.” after, the Hawks lost by one point to the Heat on a Chris Bosh miracle three without the services of Al Horford.
*****

sadly what most of you people cannot figure out is that regular season means nothing. We went 1-3 vs Miami. Close losses mean jack….

Miami will roast us in a 7 game series, especially since LBJ usually kills it before the Finals begin. Trust me, we will bend over and take it vs Miami

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
11:57 am

Hopes and Dreams!

The Heat, nor any other contender should be hoping to draw the hawks in round one nor, vice versa. I’m sure Rusty, the Heat would rather see Milwaukee.

Be careful what you wish for. Just wish for your team to be READY to do battle with whoever the opponent is and, that you can impose your will.

doc

April 1st, 2012
12:03 pm

3 day pause on the blog could get interesting, hope mc got filler. already talking playoffs with a month to go.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
12:06 pm

GM – JeJe!

Reglar season don’t mean Jack, either way. 1-3 don’t mean Jack is right. I know we won’t be in. 7th or 8th slot, so hypothetically we will not draw Miami anyway.

However, there is a greater chance they beat us than us beating them. But, that’s why they play the games – it’s not played on paper.

Here’s my point: don’t be skurred!!! Show up and play, see what happens. Stay positive or, just mail it in from home – why show up if, you don’t believe in yourself?

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 1st, 2012
1:00 pm

I assure you all LBJ has not thought of the Hawks once since early March.

We didn’t even compete vs Cleveland for the most part 3 yeas ago, yet ppl only want to talk about the Orlando series.

We are also 0-4 vs Miami the last 2 years.

Better pray we play Chicago

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 1st, 2012
1:00 pm

0-4 At home*

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 1st, 2012
1:05 pm

Only way we have a chance in Rd 2 (I am confident about rd 1 if we are above 7 seed) is if Pargo is healthy and he keeps that swagger. If he and Willie are balling, we have a shot vs Chi.

I think it’s pretty clear Miami rolls to Finals

DawgNole

April 1st, 2012
1:07 pm

Sautee
April 1st, 2012
10:19 am

doc,

I was right therewith you for Feb. and Mar. I predicted 5-8 in Feb (they were 4-9), and 10-9 for March (they were 11-8) so my aggregate for Feb-Mar was right on the money. Not bad, indeed.

DawfNole, you see, THAT is reality, and not sugarcoating what this team is, or blindly being a homer.
______________________

“DawfNole”??? Don’t you like my regular handle anymore? Pretty good pickin’ for Feb and Mar, and I see you’ve forecast 6-6 for April. Is the glass half full or half empty, you asked. I’m afraid that after 45 years, it’s more than half empty for me.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
1:08 pm

Special Thoughts!

“I assure you all LBJ has not thought of the Hawks once since early March.”
_______

I assure you as well, the only person Bron thinks of is himself. So, that puts the Hawks in no special category for not being thought of.

What has LeBron proven in the post season that Joe Johnson hasn’t proven. They both have an identical number of rings as well disappearances and Bron has been surrounded by a hella lot more talent than Joe will EVER see play in Atlanta. So, what is so Special about LeBron in your eyes. I say fear DWade and, not LBJ (as you call him).

Big Lou

April 1st, 2012
1:09 pm

Fire LD. Hire a coach with a brain.

Half of the Hawk’s problems are solved.

Coaching has lost at least 9 games this year, not talent–just saying.

Last night’s example(s):

LD playing Kirk too many minutes in the game, making him useless(more than he already is) in the fourth.

Teague not getting enough minutes after warming up in the third.

LD going small, which allowed Brand to take advantage.

It’s not rocket science why this team loses close games. It’s not their effort or abilities.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 1st, 2012
1:11 pm

So,

What will TMac’s DNP reason be for Wednesday?

Sleepy

Is my guess.

Smh

DawgNole

April 1st, 2012
1:12 pm

prison mike
April 1st, 2012
11:44 am

No worries as the April sched is fairly easy. Philly and Boston have harder scheds. Philly has to play 10 road games this month, got dam.
______________________

No worries???! Good gracious. Are you overmedicating? Where have you been the past 45 years?!

DawgNole

April 1st, 2012
1:13 pm

phil
April 1st, 2012
11:02 am

Hawks lose.

What’s new?
____________________

Nothing.

DawgNole

April 1st, 2012
1:18 pm

Rusty
April 1st, 2012
11:44 am

What we have here in Atlanta is a coach who can not coach & causes the team games.

Rusty
April 1st, 2012
11:47 am

I truly believe that any of the top teams would like to get us in the first round,surely we don’t scare any one.
_______________________

How, exactly, do you “cause” a game?

Your 11:47 post, on the other hand, is right on.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
1:31 pm

GM-JeJe

You probably right about Heat versus Bulls for the Hawks draw IF, we make it out of round 1.

Who do you think is the most likely team to beat back Miami this year? I say, OKC.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 1st, 2012
1:53 pm

Dr. Mary,

Prob OKC. Lakers too if Bynum ever grows up

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 1st, 2012
2:11 pm

April sched will be average if we fail to beat Boston or LAC or DAL.

Given how we blow at home this year, I’m not confident

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
2:28 pm

GM-JeJe

Lakers? Hmmm … No more triangle, Odom, Fisher … Kobe shot is broken right now, IDK. Ya thinks Heat get past Bulls, for sure?

SteveW

April 1st, 2012
2:46 pm

Hawks are exactly where I said they would be to finish 31-23. I don’t get alot of predictions right, but I try to be honest when I do and when I don’t.

And then I predicted 7-5 for April. I’ll stick with that unless a major injury happens.

38-28 for the season.

Boston loses 4 of the next 6 – Hawks play Charlotte twice and Detroit after a long rest. We should get some breathing room.

SteveW

April 1st, 2012
2:47 pm

Also called Lin and Amare going down – my DWade going down with injury by the 1st week of April has not happened yet, so I may have blown that call.

38-28, good enough for 3rd seed if that happens? We’ll see.

SteveW

April 1st, 2012
2:49 pm

My Bucks at #6 seed is going up in smoke. Unless a major winning streak occurs by them, and a major losing streak by some other teams, hopefully not named the Hawks.

SteveW

April 1st, 2012
2:54 pm

I think Miami loses to OKC in the Finals. That being said, how is Miami rolling to the Finals a fait accompli? They’ve sure looked human most of the time this season, and a loss in any round of the playoffs wouldn’t surprise me.

And LeBron is getting dinged up. And if Wade were to go down…

And don’t give me the what if stuff – we lost Al for the season, so remember, no excuses, right? Or is that just for the Hawks?

SteveW

April 1st, 2012
2:56 pm

Man, OKC is decimating Chicago right now.

SteveW

April 1st, 2012
2:58 pm

I have no idea why Chicago hasn’t picked up Coach TT’s contract for next season. Maybe waiting to see what he does in the playoffs? Who are they going to get that’s better, even if they lost in the 1st round or something?

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 1st, 2012
3:00 pm

The only benefit Jason Collins and Erick Dampier bring to the city of Atlanta is the fact that they dine daily at Golden Corral, thus helping our economy.

Other than that, I can’t think of anything else.

SteveW

April 1st, 2012
3:01 pm

April 11th is a key date – Hawks at Boston – let’s see where the Hawks are after that meeting.

Then of course April 26th is the real date – we’ll know for sure where we’re at.

Sautee

April 1st, 2012
3:06 pm

“DawfNole”??? Don’t you like my regular handle anymore?”

LOL. At least the F is right next to the G. ;-)

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
3:21 pm

Prognosticator Extraordinaire!

SteveW is doing his best Jim Rhome is on Fire – Impersonation. I’m feeling your thoughts all the way – bruh. That’s why they PLAY the games.

Good job SteveW, for keeping it positive and unemotional. Some of these old farts on here are bags of dusty, old hot air. One sure thing about drmaryb, imma’ keep it real on both sides. Nobody knows it all – NOBODY!

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
3:25 pm

LOL! GM-JeJe … Well, the Golden Corral gettin’ ripped off. They better lock the doors and flip the closed sign when, them two roll up – grinning from ear to ear.

frustated hawk fa

April 1st, 2012
3:57 pm

will somebody PLEASEEE!!!…. tell me why Joe still insists on dribbling around trying to shake the double team instead of passing out of it???!!! It was CLEAR they were doubling Joe ALL the time and he doesn’t seem to see it or is too stubborn to give up the rock…then he has to try very diffiucult shots with the clock running down . And speaking of too much dribbling….LD still can’t seem to get them to move the ball around and from side to side!!!….instead they dribble away the clock and rush the shots to beat the clock. When they DO move the ball around the results are spectacular!

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
4:41 pm

No Clue Drew!

“will somebody PLEASEEE!!!…. tell me why Joe still insists on dribbling around trying to shake the double team instead of passing out of it???!!! ”
_________

Because ‘nam one of his teammates move without the ball to create passing angles. And, the coach’s favorite movie is Groundhog Day.

ag

April 1st, 2012
4:50 pm

Except for the game in Atlanta, we played them really well. We just have not played them 4 quarters. The only team I think we really will stuggle with in the playoffs in Miami. This year we have actually beat the teams you suppose to and lost to tougher opponents.

Yesterday, I looked at the body language. JT was very frustrated with ZaZa on that trash he shot to end the 2nd quarter. Josh and ZaZa also go into it that same quarter when ZaZa deflected a pass meant for Josh rolling to the basket.

doc

April 1st, 2012
4:56 pm

stevew we agree on two counts, boy would i love to see durant get his ring before queen.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
4:57 pm

ag

That is the best and most sound explanation I’ve heard as to why Josh was jawing with zaza. That pass was set up for a dunk! Thanks for that insight.

Perhaps zaza said something side-ways to Drew, because he was planted on the pine after that. Good stuff, ag.

doc

April 1st, 2012
5:40 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

April 1st, 2012
5:54 pm

“You do realize the Sixers are 3-0 against the Hawks this season, right?”

I know they have played well against the Hawks in the regular season, but aside from being able to take Joe out of the game with one defender I just don’t see any real advantages they have over the Hawks anywhere. I think the three regular season games this year have been a product of bad coaching decisions by LD combined with the Sixers doing things they are normally not good at doing (like going 6/12 from 3 yesterday). Of course, can’t assume that LD is going to make the right coaching decisions in the playoffs, but I don’t think the Sixers are an unbeatable team for the Hawks.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 1st, 2012
6:00 pm

I think we can beat Philly in a series if we actually run plays. Joe would definitely get shut down, as we all know, so someone else would have to really play out of his mind (25 ppg from Smoove)

High-sider

April 1st, 2012
6:00 pm

Fire Erik Spoelstra!

This guy, Spoelstra has no credibility with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. The Heat are not responding to his [Spoelstra's] message. Mike D’Antoni’s resignation/termination/departure/separation from the Knicks was long overdue as is Spoelstra’s from the Heat.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 1st, 2012
6:00 pm

Since we have three days of no Hawks basketball, here is some draft news.

Jason McIntyre
‏ @TheBigLead
Follow

Buzz in Washington from a source: T Ross is going to the NBA, but T Wroten could stay. Problem: the Atl Hawks LOVE Wroten & he knows it

Montlake Madness ‏ @MontlakeMadness Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
RT @Babyyao23: @MontlakeMadness Rick Sund the GM of the Hawks was at least two UW games on person this year.

Here is Tony Wroten’s NBADraft.net profile. They compare him to Tyreke Evans, although this may just be because the Washington Huskies uniforms are the same color as Sacramento’s uniforms.