Hawks vs. Sixers — Things of Note

Graham Chapple —  January 22, 2017

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks moved to a season best eight games above .500 after they took care of the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night, 110-93. The Sixers — who were without Joel Embiid — were led by Ersan Ilyasova’s 21 points while (Sir) Robert Covington added 15 points to the Philly cause. Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 22 points.

We’re going to keep this brief enough today, with the Falcons game on and all…

Atlanta’s big second quarter sets up win

The Sixers were doing a decent job sticking with — and in front of — the Hawks in the early stages of this game but the Hawks used a very good second quarter to put the little bit of distance they needed by half time, capped by a buzzer-beater by Paul Millsap.

The Hawks scored 37 points on 69.6% shooting from the field in the second quarter, eight of those points coming from Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Hawks used a very good defensive second half (holding the Sixers to just 39 points on 32.4% shooting) to pull away from the Sixers, the lead stretching as high as 18 in the third quarter.

“Second half, holding them to 39 points, we just keep harping, keep pounding on our defense.” — Coach Mike Budenholzer

While the Sixers came close in the fourth quarter — trimming the lead to seven points — the Hawks rallied and made sure this was not as nervous of an ending as the Bulls game was the night before, something that was lurking in the minds of the Hawks:

“That’s the beauty of this team. We learn from our mistakes. We were all on edge going into the fourth because of last night. That really empowered us to get the job down and put them away.” — Kent Bazemore

Coach Bud, however, wishes that the Hawks were able to hold a lead in the fourth quarter once:

“…I wish we could maybe maintain a lead and not let it slip away. But that’s how a lot of these games work. Our group was able to pull it back together and bring it home. It’s just two good nights of basketball.” — Coach Mike Budenholzer

Without Joel Embiid, you expect the Hawks to take care of business and they did. The offense was not pretty at times and it was frustrating to watch the Hawks fall behind by as many as seven points in the early going…but hey. It happens. The got the job done.

Philly’s turnovers

The Sixers rank 30th in turnovers per game (17.1) and managed to eclipse their season average by 4, coughing the ball up 21 times last night against the Hawks. The Hawks were sure to capitalise, scoring 17 points off of those turnovers.

“I think we pushed the pace on the offensive end and the defensive end, we had active hands and created turnovers. We got out on the fast-break and shot the ball.” — Dennis Schröder

The Sixers, meanwhile, couldn’t do the same to the Hawks. Atlanta turned the ball over just 13 times last night but the Sixers could only score four points off of those.

“Every game we want to have the fewest turnovers we can. Tonight, especially, against Philly, they are aggressive too on the defensive end. It was important to protect the ball.” — Dennis Schröder

Second chance points

The Hawks made the most of their second chance opportunities last night, scoring 14 second chance points off of 11 offensive rebounds while holding the Sixers to zero second chance points off of six offensive rebounds. As you can imagine, Dwight Howard led the way in second chance scoring with seven points.

“We did a good job of holding them to one shot. Philly’s a tough team. They play really hard. They play aggressive. They play good team basketball. They share the ball and they find the open man. They have a good group of young guys. It wasn’t as easy as people expect out of the recent Philly teams. You have to respect them. They played great basketball.” — Dwight Howard

Another good game for Baze

With another 16 point performance last night, Kent Bazemore has quietly averaged 13.6 points per game on 50% shooting from the field and 39.1% from behind the arc.

This five game stretch has been good for Baze and it has been good to see him play well. He’s playing with confidence right now.

Tasty blocks

The Hawks came up with two very tasty blocks in this game. The first comes from Dennis Schröder of all people, Dennis Schröder with the chase-down!

The second, and the best, came from Paul Millsap on (Sir) Robert Covington.

Oh! I need more of this in my life. We haven’t seen as many of these from Paul this season with Dwight in the middle, but when they come they’re fantastic. Great block.

The Wave!

During the third quarter of this game, while Timothy Luwawu shot some free throws, the infamous wave broke out at Philips Arena.

Twitter is always a fantastic place to be when such an event occurs.

Poor Brad…

Although this, it has to be said, was a pretty weak lame. That’s a preseason wave. Come on, Philips Arena. You can do better than that.

I can’t help but wonder if Joel Embiid would’ve participated if he was playing and on the bench…

Fake in-arena proposal ring drop…always entertaining

This isn’t really anything significant, but I thought it was hilarious watching it live.

It surely does not…

Up next

The Hawks (26-18) are back in action on Monday night against the L.A. Clippers at Philips Arena. Chris Paul is definitely out and it’s unclear whether Blake Griffin will return to action on Monday night. For the Hawks, it’s unclear whether Mike Muscala (who missed his fourth straight game with that ankle injury) will play or not.

Have fun watching the Falcons game! Go, Falcons!

Game stats: NBA.com
Hawks quotes:
The AJC via Chris Vivlamore
More Hawks quotes: Peachtree Hoops via Kris Willis

Graham Chapple