76ers

Instant Replay: Hawks 113, Sixers, 103

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Instant Replay: Hawks 113, Sixers, 103

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA -- The Sixers left the confines of the Wells Fargo Center for just the third time this season when they traveled to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Friday night in the first of a three-game road trip.

The Sixers fell behind with another slow start and allowed Jeff Teague to score a career-high 33 points in a 113-103 loss to the Hawks.

The defeat put the Sixers record at an even 5-5, while the Hawks moved to 5-4 on the season.

Turning point
At the 8:40 mark of the fourth quarter, James Anderson was stripped while driving to the basket. Atlanta went the other way and Teague put in a two-handed slam to give the Hawks a seven-point lead.

That basket sparked a brief 6-0 run the Hawks used to put the game away.

Two days after scoring a career high 36 points, Anderson was limited to just one made field goal.

Follow the leader
Teague led all scorers with 33 points, shooting 10 of 16 from the field. The point guard also dished out 10 assists. Al Horford added 20 points and eight rebounds for Atlanta, while DeMarre Carroll contributed 21 points.

Evan Turner led the Sixers with 27 points and Thaddeus Young had 17. Spencer Hawes notched another double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Tony Wroten followed up his first career triple-double with 22 points and six assists.

Injury update
Michael Carter-Williams a second consecutive game with a bruised arch in his left foot.

“He is day-to-day,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said prior to the game. “I am not really expecting to see him on this trip. That may happen. I could be wrong, but in my own preparation I am not expecting to see him on this road trip. If we do, we do. Otherwise, we will move along without him and use Darius (Morris) and Tony (Wroten) at that backup point guard position.”

Former Sixer Lou Williams was in uniform for the first time since he tore his right ACL 10 months ago. He scored seven points with three rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes of action.

Stat-egic
The disparity at the foul line in this game was huge until the final frame. The Sixers finished the game 18 of 23 from the charity stripe, while the Hawks were 25 of 31. However, the Sixers had attempted just nine shots from the line prior to the fourth quarter.

Take a bow
Former Sixer Kyle Korver made a three-pointer with 3:36 to play in the first quarter to extend his streak of consecutive games with a made three to 82. That is the second-longest such streak in NBA history.

Former Sixer Dana Barros holds the record with 89 straight games with a three-pointer.

Korver finished with 13 points and hit 3 of 5 shots from behind the arc.

What’s next?
The Sixers will play at New Orleans on Saturday. It will be their first time facing former Sixers All-Star Jrue Holiday, who was traded on draft night to the Pelicans for Nerlens Noel and a future first-round draft pick.

The Pelicans are currently 3-6 on the season.

Sixers refuse to look at silver lining from season-opening loss

Sixers refuse to look at silver lining from season-opening loss

BOX SCORE

WASHINGTON — In years past, overcoming a 12-point deficit and trailing a playoff-contending team by just two points with a minute to go would be considered an “A for effort” for the Sixers

If they held their own against a more experienced team and didn’t get dominated by John Wall, a 120-115 loss on the road wasn’t really that bad … was it?

Not this season.

The Sixers are in a new phase, one with actual pieces versus promising potential. With that comes higher expectations to win, and it starts in the locker room after the first game. 

“I don’t like taking positives from losses,” JJ Redick said. “We need to clean up a lot of stuff. We need to be better. It takes a lot to win in this league. We need to figure that out, and we will. We are good enough to do that.” 

The Sixers were in Wednesday's game until the end (see observations). They withstood the combined 53 points from Wall and Bradley Beal with a 29-point performance by Robert Covington and double-doubles from Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons (see studs, duds, more).

The team acknowledged it had a chance to win. Yes, there were encouraging moments. No, they weren’t hanging their heads and writing off the season after opening night. 

At the same time, they are not ignoring the missteps that landed them in the loss column. Those are the turning points to learn from this season. 

The Sixers gave up just three points off four turnovers in the first half. The second half was a different story: 20 points off 13 turnovers. Down two points late in the fourth, the Sixers committed a pair of turnovers in a span of 30 seconds that hindered them from closing the gap. Those errors have been a focal point of conversation among the players. 

“Too many turnovers. That's big,” Embiid said (more on him here). “That's been the talk in the locker room. Got to work on that.”

The Sixers have one day of practice before facing the Celtics and Raptors in back-to-back games. It's just a small taste of what's to come in a stacked schedule over the first two months of the season. The attitude is be good enough to win, not good enough to compete. 

“We’re not going to try to lose this season and take a bunch of positives from that,” Redick said. “We’re trying to win. We’re trying to be in the playoffs this year. That’s got to be the mindset.”

Joel Embiid 'surprised' by amount of playing time in Sixers' opener

Joel Embiid 'surprised' by amount of playing time in Sixers' opener

WASHINGTON — In the end, Joel Embiid’s playing time was a non-issue.

After days of frustration leading up to opening night, Embiid played just three seconds shy of 27 minutes against the Wizards. That far surpassed the 16 minutes he anticipated a day earlier on Tuesday (see story)

“I was surprised,” Embiid said following the Sixers’ 120-115 loss on Wednesday night (see observations). “I was expecting way less than that, but it just shows you they trust me.”

Brett Brown had maintained Embiid’s minutes were going to be more flexible than last year and he wasn’t locked into a specific number by the medical staff. Initially, Brown projected Embiid would play somewhere in the teens, but the game presented an opportunity for him to log more. 

Embiid had played 21:38 through three quarters and it seemed, based on last season, he was done for the night. The coaching staff calculated Embiid had over 20 minutes to rest between the third and the fourth quarters, so Brown put him back into the game with just over five minutes to play. He finished the game with 18 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, a block and four turnovers (see highlights).

“It’s a range,” Brown said. “It’s more of a plan that we have this year than a restriction. When you look at and you feel the flow of the game, that’s where the variables come in.”

Embiid wants open lines of communication between him and the medical staff — for him to know what its planning and for him to be honest about how he is feeling.

“It’s on me to not lie to them and tell them how my body feels when I’m tired,” Embiid said. “At some point through the game I was tired and I told them to take me out.”

Embiid is ready for a new outlook on his availability moving forward. 

“We’ve got to stop calling it 'minutes restrictions,'" Embiid said. "There’s a plan with that — it’s just go out and play. If you’re tired, get out because injuries happen more often when you’re tired.”