Bench Unit Leads Hawks to Big Win Over Sixers

Friday, January 31, 2014
By Robby Kalland

Atlanta Hawks  v Philadelphia 76ers

The Hawks got 70 points from their bench unit, led by Mike Scott and Elton Brand with 18 points each, on their way to a 125-99 victory over the Sixers in Philly. The Hawks took their first lead of the game at 7-5 early in the first quarter and never relinquished it, leading by as many as 32 in the second half.

Hawks vs. 76ers
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Atlanta took advantage of 21 Sixers turnovers converting those opportunities into 26 points. The Hawks shot 50.6% from the field and 50% from three-point range on the evening, taking advantage of the Sixers’ porous defense to attack the rim — 58 points in the paint — and kick out to open shooters when the Sixers defense collapsed on the paint.

Scott finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, and four assists on 8-of-14 shooting as he had his 10th consecutive double-digit scoring game. Scott had 16 points in the second quarter to help the Hawks pull away to a 64-52 halftime lead. Scott’s frontcourt mate on the second unit and former Sixer Elton Brand had 18 points and eight rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting. The duo were a big part of the Hawks big second and third quarters (37 and 38 points respectively) that gave them a big lead and let them cruise down the stretch for the victory.

The Hawks starters were also effective as a unit, particularly in the third quarter, and they got a boost from Jeff Teague‘s return from his ankle sprain. Teague had 12 points, eight assists, and two steals in 24 minutes as he looked to be 100% healthy using his quick first step to get to the rim and facilitate.

Paul Millsap had 12 points, four assists, four rebounds, six steals (a season-high), and two blocks in his first game since being named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Thursday. Two of Millsap’s baskets were thunderous dunks, but he was not asked to do too much and was able to take it easy on the night in just 27 minutes as the Hawks rolled.

Kyle Korver and Lou Williams also enjoyed their return trip to Philadelphia, as the two combined for 23 points. Korver extended his three-point streak to 114 consecutive games in the first quarter and was 3-of-4 from long distance on the game. Williams looked good and was aggressive attacking the basket to get to the free throw line and facilitate with five assists.

DeMarre Carroll continues to shoot the ball well over the past few weeks as he was 5-of-9 shooting with 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Carroll was 3-of-4 from three-point range and harassed Evan Turner on the defensive end into a 2-of-10 shooting night with just six points.

Thaddeus Young was the lone bright spot for the Sixers, as he had 29 points, eight rebounds, and five steals. Young almost single-handedly kept the Sixers in the game in the first quarter with 16 points, and had five terrific dunks to keep the home fans entertained.

Unfortunately for Young, he didn’t have much help from his teammates. Rookie Michael Carter-Williams had 17 points, five assists, and four rebounds, but 11 of those points came in the fourth quarter when the Sixers were down by 20+ points. The Sixers shot 36.8% from the field and 27.3% from three-point range on the night, which compounded their turnover issues.

The Hawks continue to move the ball exceptionally well, with 36 assists on 45 made shots. The Hawks were able to give some of the guys at the end of the bench some run, and Dennis Schröder, particularly, played well. Schröder had nine points and one assist in 17 minutes with just one turnover. Dennis, who played well against the Thunder, seems to be finding a comfort level with the speed of the game and is finding a balance between being under control while still attacking the defense.

The Hawks will look to stay hot as they return to Atlanta to face off with the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow night in the second game of a back-to-back for both teams.

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Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

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