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Third quarter woes plague Hawks in 113-92 loss to Sixers

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It was going well for a half...

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For 24 minutes on Monday evening, the Atlanta Hawks performed well in battling the Philadelphia 76ers to a tie. After that, however, the superior team pulled away and the final result was a 113-92 defeat for the visiting team.

The evening opened in a positive way for the Hawks, as the team built a 16-8 advantage in the early going. Atlanta knocked down a trio of threes to aid in extending the lead and, while the offense largely struggled for much of the first half, there were enough spurs to stay within a workable distance.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the opening frame was a gorgeous drive and finish from Trae Young.

Though the Hawks held a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Sixers fought back in a big way early in the second, including a 13-5 run. Atlanta and Philadelphia then exchanged blows for much of the rest of the half but the Hawks had the last laugh, scoring the final six points to erase a deficit and tie the game at 47-47.

The first 24 minutes were not overflowing with beautiful offensive basketball but the Hawks did produce some fireworks with dunks and two of them came from an unlikely source in Miles Plumlee.

Foul trouble seemingly prompted Plumlee’s deployment but the veteran produced six points, five rebounds and three assists, providing solid minutes in a tough spot. Elsewhere, Kent Bazemore scored a team-high 10 points before halftime and Young added seven points and four assists.

Despite the team’s ability to play the Sixers to a draw in the first half, brighter times were not ahead, at least within the confines of this 48-minute contest. Philadelphia used an 11-0 run to take full control early in the third quarter and, by the end of the period, the Hawks were in an 18-point hole. Atlanta missed 18 of 24 shot attempts (and eight of nine threes) and that isn’t exactly the best recipe for an upset victory on the road.

Down the stretch, the comeback materialized but, in order to mitigate the negativity, there were more dimes from Mr. Young.

And there was another impressive, spinning finish at the rim.

When the dust settled, the Hawks fell by a 21-point margin and, offensively, there wasn’t much to be excited about. Bazemore led the way with 18 points and Young added eight assists but only Omari Spellman (11 points, six rebounds) and Dewayne Dedmon (11 points, five rebounds) joined the starting backcourt in double figures and the team’s defense weakened after the half.

The Hawks will have a (very) quick turnaround, as Atlanta visits Cleveland for the second time in October on Tuesday evening. Stay tuned.