Six­ers run on fumes in At­lanta

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Ge­orge Henry The As­so­ci­ated Press

AT­LANTA >> Hawks coach Mike Bu­den­holzer was bor­der­line dis­gusted after watch­ing his team com­mit nine turnovers in the first quar­ter.

It didn’t take long for Bu­den­holzer to get the re­sults he wanted as At­lanta had just seven turnovers over the last three pe­ri­ods.

Tim Har­d­away Jr. scored 20 points, Kent Baze­more added 17 and the Hawks won their fourth straight game with a 117-96 vic­tory over the Philadel­phia 76ers on Satur­day night.

“It was like we’re hand­ing them the ball and they’re go­ing and scor­ing,” Bu­den­holzer said. “Credit our guys to kind of flip that and just still play with great ball move­ment and great con­fi­dence and re­duce the turnovers.”

Dwight Howard, the NBA’s ac­tive leader in dou­ble-dou­bles, had 10 points and 11 re­bounds for the Hawks.

Jahlil Okafor fin­ished with 18 points for the Six­ers, who dropped to 1-8 a night after earn­ing their first win.

De­spite play­ing with a de­pleted ros­ter, Philadel­phia was within two with 3:50 left in the third. But Howard’s fol­low dunk gave the Hawks an 84-74 lead and Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer on the en­su­ing posses­sion matched the 10-point ad­van­tage in the clos­ing min­utes of the pe­riod.

Har­d­away hit 3s on con­sec­u­tive pos­ses­sions mid­way through the fourth to give At­lanta a 14-point lead. Den­nis Schroder’s corner 3 made it 108-89 with 3:17 re­main­ing.

Schroder fin­ished with 16 points and Korver had 14.

“We really just couldn’t hold on,” Six­ers coach Brett Brown said. “We have to do what­ever we do by com­mit­tee and we just didn’t do that. They his­tor­i­cally have been a hard matchup for us.”

The in­jury-marred Six­ers were with­out cen­ter Joel Em­biid, Ben Sim­mons, Jer­ryd Bay­less and Ner­lens Noel.

Okafor, who had off­sea­son knee surgery and played just three min­utes Fri­day, was on a 24-minute limit. Em­biid was sit­ting out the sec­ond night of the back-to­back.

Philadel­phia dropped to 1-45 in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber dat­ing to Nov. 22, 2013. The Six­ers have dropped 19 straight on the road.

The Hawks took their first dou­ble-digit lead on Baze­more’s 3 in the clos­ing se­conds be­fore half­time.

“On the turnovers, they were able to get some easy bas­kets,” Korver said. “It’s been a prob­lem for us all year. It’s some­thing we have to clean up. Coach Bud wants us to play free and to make things hap­pen. He doesn’t want to take that away, but we have to be bet­ter, and that’s what he tells us.”

Ser­gio Ro­driguez had 13 points for Philadel­phia. Dario Saric and Nik Stauskas each added 12. Robert Cov­ing­ton scored all of his 11 points in the third.

“We made the run that al­lowed us to get back in the game,” Cov­ing­ton said. “We have to sus­tain that. I know we’re short-handed but that’s part of the sit­u­a­tion we’ll be in.”

Tip-Ins

76ers: Em­biid had 25 points in Fri­day’s over­time win over In­di­ana, but the 7-foot, 275-pound cen­ter isn’t play­ing both nights of back-to-back games in his rookie sea­son after the No. 3 over­all pick in 2014 had to sit out two years with right foot in­juries.

Hawks: At­lanta be­gan the night ranked sec­ond in field-goal per­cent­age, third in as­sists, first in turnovers forced, sec­ond in points off turnovers and sev­enth in re­bound­ing . ... They ranked 24th in re­bound­ing last sea­son, but the pres­ence of Howard, the NBA’s ac­tive leader in ca­reer re­bounds, has paid off in his first Hawks sea­son.

DAVID GOLD­MAN — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

At­lanta Hawks’ Kyle Korver re­acts after hit­ting a three­p­ointer in the third quar­ter against the Six­ers on Satur­day.

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