A little over 24 hours removed from a somewhat anticlimactic trade deadline, the Atlanta Hawks (22-29) were on the road to take on the Philadelphia 76ers (30-20) on Friday night.
Both sides were shorthanded in this one. For Atlanta, Dejounte Murray (lower back tightness) and Clint Capela (left adductor strain) remained out, while Patty Mills and Wesley Matthews (illness) were late adds to the injury report.
For Philadelphia, Joel Embiid underwent a procedure on his left knee earlier this week that should keep him out for at least the next couple of weeks, while his fellow All-Star, Tyrese Maxey was ruled out hours before tipoff with an illness. De’Anthony Melton (back), Robert Covington (knee) and Nic Batum (hamstring) joined Embiid and Maxey on the injury report.
Buddy Hield and Cameron Payne were making their 76ers debuts.
Atlanta had it going from beyond the three-point arc early on, and they jumped out to a 14-11 lead after the first five minutes.
Despite their injuries, Philadelphia kept it competitive with buckets from Tobias Harris and Cameron Payne — cutting Atlanta’s lead to 18-17 with just under six minutes to go in the first.
However, behind a balanced scoring effort, the Hawks outscored the 76ers 19-9 over the rest of the quarter and led 37-26 after the opening frame.
Onyeka Okongwu made his presence felt in the first quarter, racking up 10 points and four rebounds on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor.
Trae Young got the Hawks on the board to start the second, using an off-ball screen (!!) from Bruno Fernando to create an open look from three.
Peep the action that gets Trae a wide-open 3 pic.twitter.com/mMcfKtbPEu— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 10, 2024
Bruno Fernando gave the Hawks some good minutes in the second quarter, including this stuff on Tobias Harris at the rim.
A few plays later, De’Andre Hunter cashed in a corner three to bring Atlanta’s three-point tally up to seven in the first half.
The Philly kid cashes in his 2nd 3 pic.twitter.com/cpztu2md0w— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 10, 2024
An Okongwu-led 11-2 run gave Atlanta a 70-49 cushion with 1:50 to go in the first half, however Philadelphia would respond with a 7-0 run of their own to cut the Hawks’ lead to 14.
Putting the OO in cOOKing— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 10, 2024
Onyeka has 17 in the first half pic.twitter.com/LLc0EwHDoX
Trae Young splashed a corner triple (his fourth of the evening) just before the end of the half to give Atlanta a 73-56 lead heading into the break.
Young had 18 points and eight assists to lead the Hawks at the half. Okongwu had 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor.
Three-point shooting was the biggest difference between the two sides in the first half, as Atlanta shot 11-for-19 from beyond the arc compared to just 4-for-20 for Philadelphia.
Atlanta continued to make it rain from the perimeter to start the 3rd quarter.
The law firm of Bogdanovic & Bey, specializing in 3-point offenses pic.twitter.com/hwOjLnXFjo— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 10, 2024
However similar to the first half, Philadelphia refused to go away, as three-pointers from Buddy Hield and Cam Payne cut the Hawks’ lead to 14 with 8:45 to go.
A 16-10 Hawks’ run over the next six minutes stretched their lead to 19 with just under three minutes remaining in the third.
Saving this Trae dime to watch again and again later pic.twitter.com/DNs6dfGCnv— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 10, 2024
After a jam by Jalen Johnson and another triple from Hunter (hat tip to Trae Young for the assist), Atlanta led 103-86 through three quarters of play.
The two teams traded buckets to start the fourth, before an 8-0 Sixers run cut Atlanta’s lead to 109-100 with 8:45 left to play, forcing Quin Snyder to call a timeout.
A Tobias Harris runner cut the 76ers deficit to seven before Young stopped the bleeding with a floater of his own at the 6:47 mark.
A couple possessions later, Young nailed a step-back three over Paul Reed to put Atlanta back up by 11 with 5:30 remaining, forcing the 76ers to call for time.
After the timeout, Philadelphia went on a 7-2 run, and Atlanta led just by just six points with less than four minutes to play.
Young and Kelly Oubre traded free throws, before a monster Jalen Johnson slam put the Hawks’ up by eight at the 2:08 mark — effectively putting this one to bed.
That's one way to break pressure!— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 10, 2024
Despite a few late-game buckets from Philadelphia, the Hawks went home with a 127-121 victory.
Trae Young led the way for Atlanta with 37 points (on 10-for-21 shooting from the field, and 5-for-12 from three) and 12 assists. Onyeka Okongwu was fantastic once again, finishing with 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Saddiq Bey had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jalen Johnson did a little bit of everything, scoring 11 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out six assists.
The Hawks are back in action tomorrow evening where they will be taking on the Houston Rockets at State Farm Arena. Tipoff for that one is at 7:30 pm.