Depleted Hawks held to season-low point total in loss to Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris, left, goes up for shot against Atlanta Hawks' John Collins during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Caption
Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris, left, goes up for shot against Atlanta Hawks' John Collins during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Credit: Matt Slocum

Credit: Matt Slocum

Playing extremely shorthanded, the Hawks were blown out by the Sixers, 127-83, Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Next up, the Hawks play in Philadelphia (41-21) again Friday.

Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. The depleted Hawks had another lengthy injury report, and this one put them in the odd position of being particularly shorthanded in the backcourt. Guards Bogdan Bogdanovic (left hamstring soreness), Kevin Huerter (left shoulder sprain) and Trae Young (left ankle sprain) were out, in addition to Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness), De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) and Tony Snell (right ankle sprain). The Hawks got Lou Williams (10 points, eight rebounds, five assists) back for this game after he missed Monday’s loss with flu-like symptoms, and Kris Dunn (five points, one assist in 15 minutes), who made his debut Monday, had his minute restriction increased. But, ultimately, too much Hawks talent was on the bench.

2. With so many of their shooters out, the Hawks simply didn’t have enough firepower to hang with the Sixers, the No. 2 team in the East. They got down 37-17 after a deflated first quarter, with Philadelphia scoring 20 fast-break points in that period alone, and trailed by 30 entering the fourth. They only lost the third quarter 26-24, but interim coach Nate McMillan really didn’t like the way the Hawks played in the first half: “I thought the first two quarters, we really didn’t come out with any intensity, sense of urgency, playing in that first 24 minutes. I thought the third quarter was better intensity, a little bit more scrap, a little bit more fight. But we’ll look at this and as we do with all of our games, we’ll learn from it and we have to get better from it.”

3. One game after scoring a season-low 86 points in Monday’s loss to Detroit (they were banged up in that game, too), the Hawks set a new season-low of 83. They narrowly avoided setting a new season-low in field-goal percentage, as well: they ended up at 33.8%, and their season-low is 32.7% (set in the loss to Utah Feb. 4). “We were literally missing most all of our shooters, Kevin, Bogi, Trae, Tony, it’s tough,” John Collins said. “It’s tough out there when you have guys that are big parts of your team, that aren’t there. It’s tough, playing against a great team like Philly, with their starting lineup I feel like ready to go, while we’re going through change. It’s a tough, uphill battle, but at the end of the day I feel like we could have definitely competed harder out there.”

4. On a flat night, offensively, Collins was a bright spot for the Hawks. He had a team-high 21 points, adding four rebounds and two assists. Collins is averaging 18.2 points over his past five games. Solomon Hill added 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. Clint Capela had nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks, and Skylar Mays had 11 points off the bench.

5. With this loss, the Hawks, previously tied with the Knicks for the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference standings, fall to No. 5. They’re still ahead of the Celtics (and own the tiebreaker vs. Boston) at No. 6, but will try to stay in the No. 4-5 range entering the postseason. That would help them avoid the play-in tournament (7-10 seeds) and avoid the heavy-hitters of Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Philadelphia, the top three teams in the East, for the first round of the playoffs.

Stat of the game

44.4% (or 16-36, what the Sixers shot from 3-point range, compared to the Hawks’ 31.6%, or 6-for-19)

Star of the game

Seth Curry (led Philadelphia in scoring with 20 points, going 4-for-7 from 3-point range, was a plus-18)

Quotable

“Hopefully we’ll have some bodies, and we’ll play with more intensity, better execution, and hopefully that result is different.” (McMillan on how the Hawks ensure Friday’s rematch will be different)