Five different players scored in double figures as the Atlanta Hawks snapped a three game losing streak with a 124-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Early on it looked like things might be a struggle again for the Hawks who fell behind by as many as eight points in the first quarter. Atlanta closed the quarter by outscoring Philadelphia 20-10 over the last 4:40 to take a 29-27 lead.
Things see sawed back and forth early on in the second before the Hawks put together a run to lead 48-36 with 5:50 left in the half. The Sixers would answer behind the excellent play of Thaddeus Young whose hook shot trimmed the Hawks' lead to 51-49 with 2:12. Atlanta would finish the half with a 8-2 run to take a 59-51 lead into halftime.
Atlanta's running game came to life in the third quarter as they outscored the Sixers 34-22 to extend their lead to 93-73. Josh Smith scored 11 of his game-high 28 points in the third to help the Hawks to a big cushion.
The biggest scare for Atlanta fans in the second half came when the Hawks entered the fourth quarter with Kyle Korver's consecutive games streak with at least one three point basket still in jeopardy. Larry Drew was able to rest most of his starters in the fourth but did send Kyle back into the game to allow him to extend the streak to 71 straight games.
Smith's 28 came on 11-18 shooting from the field and a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. He also grabbed a team high 12 rebounds and handed out four assists in just under 29 minutes of action. Philadelphia couldn't stop Smith on the block and he punished them in the third quarter by attacking the basket which is a great sign with the playoffs drawing near.
John Jenkins finished with 21 points as fellow rookie Mike Scott added 17. Jenkins was 8-13 from the floor including 3-4 from downtown and also handed out six assists. Scott hit 6-10 shots and grabbed eight rebounds. Al Horford added 16 points and nine boards while Jeff Teague finished with a double-double 13 points and 11 assists.
Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 28 points on a sizzling 14-20 shooting. He also grabbed a team high eight rebounds. Nick Young chipped in 19 off the bench while Dorell Wright added 15. Jrue Holiday finished with 12 points but it came on 4-14 shooting to go along with five turnovers.
The win pulls Atlanta to within a percentage point of the Chicago Bulls for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with three games left to play. The Bulls hold the tie breaker over the Hawks so Atlanta will need to pass them in the standings to move up to the fifth seed.
The Hawks will enjoy an off day on Thursday before returning to action on Friday at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.