PHILADELPHIA -- The Hawks have dropped three-straight games after falling to the 76ers 125-114 on Friday.

Here are five observations:

1. DeAnthony Melton poked the ball away from behind to Nico Batum and got it back to make a dunk in transition that put the Sixers up 111-109 with 3:15 left in the game. After calling a timeout, the Hawks couldn’t capitalize and ran out the shot clock, then Joel Embiid hit a shot over the arm of Clint Capela to extend the 76ers’ lead.

After leading for nearly eight-and-a-half minutes in the fourth quarter, the Hawks went cold for four minutes and had a few too many mental lapses.

The Hawks shot 6-of-21 in the fourth quarter and turned over the ball eight times, all while sending the 76ers to the free-throw line 16 times.

Following the game, Hawks coach Quin Snyder said the 76ers put a lot of pressure on their opponents. But it’s on the Hawks to have the awareness to execute everything precisely.

”Everybody’s got to have an awareness that’s going on in the game,” Snyder said. “Because you need all five guys in order to execute.”

2. The Hawks outscored the 76ers 45-27 in the second quarter after some explosive play from Saddiq Bey, Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter.

Bey scored five straight points before Bogdanovic and Hunter dropped 13 points apiece in the quarter.

Hunter made five of his seven attempts, including one 3-pointer that gave the Hawks the go-ahead points with just over 56 seconds left in the first half. He played aggressively, as he looked to attack inside and from midrange. He ended the night with a team-high 24 points.

Bogdanovic, who’s played most of his minutes this season off the bench, hit three straight 3-pointers in the quarter to cut into the Hawks’ deficit 57-56.

He started in the absence of Trae Young and finished with 20 points for the second straight game.

Young did not play because of an illness.

3. With Bogdanovic starting the game, the Hawks went a little deeper into their bench, while adhering to the 10-minute restriction on veteran guard Wesley Matthews. Usually the Hawks play just nine men in their rotation, then continue to adjust throughout the game as needed.

So, the Hawks tapped Trent Forrest and veteran guard Patty Mills to help shoulder some of the minutes left in the absence of Young.

The Hawks’ reserve guards gave them strong play and the team credited Forrest and Mills for the energy they provided the bench.

Just 39 seconds after he checked into the game, Mills found Bey for a 3. He would find Bey again in the second quarter, this time following a steal where he slapped away a defensive rebound from Sixers center Paul Reed and quickly kicked it to Bey.

Mills had a triple and complemented his defensive game with one block and had plenty of help from Forrest off the bench. The 24-year-old Hawks guard strung together a strong night that saw him hounded by Patrick Beverley for much of it. Forrest helped set the Hawks up for plenty of opportunities as he probed the 76ers defense to buy time for others to get into position.

“They work hard every single day,” Bogdanovic said of the reserves.

4. This time around, the Hawks proved to be the menaces on the glass, outrebounding the 76ers 55-48. After giving up 28 second-chance points to the 76ers three weeks ago and down another starter in Jalen Johnson, the Hawks knew they would have to attack the boards.

This time, they were the ones that took advantage of second-chance opportunities. The Hawks carved the 76ers up for 24 second-chance points off 23 offensive rebounds.

Capela gave the Hawks 10 of those offensive boards, despite having his hands full with Embiid and dealing with some foul trouble.

5. After he scored 50 points against the Wizards in the Sixers’ last outing, the Hawks did everything they could to try a limit Embiid by sending multiple bodies to try and cut off his looks at the basket. They also matched Capela’s minutes with Embiid.

But the reigning MVP did plenty of damage early, putting up 17 points in the first quarter before ending the night with 38 points.

Stat to know

250 -- Saddiq Bey has appeared in 250 career games, the most played by any member of his 2020 NBA Draft class.


“I wouldn’t even call the ‘next-man’ mentality. These dudes work hard every single day.” -- Dejounte Murray on the Hawks’ mentality.

Up next

The Hawks return to State Farm Arena to host the Nuggets, the reigning NBA champions, on Monday.