Just when you thought the Sixers couldn't get any more shorthanded, it happened.
The Sixers were without Robert Covington (right knee MRI) in their 99-92 loss to the Hawks on Wednesday.
They technically had eight available players, including Tiago Splitter, who made his NBA debut on Tuesday. However, only seven were used as Splitter sat out. Jahlil Okafor (right knee soreness) and Sergio Rodriguez (left hamstring strain) did not play.
The handful of healthy Sixers kept fighting through a Hawks' 11-point lead in the third quarter. They got within two, 83-81, with 8:19 to go but were outscored 16-11 from that point.
Inside the box score
• Richaun Holmes set a new career high with 25 points. He led all players in scoring and also had eight boards.
• Dwight Howard put together a monster 22-point, 20-rebound double-double.
• Dario Saric struggled for the second time in three games. He scored 15 points but shot 5 for 18 from the field (2 for 8 from three). Saric pulled down seven rebounds.
• Kent Bazemore scored 19 points off the Hawks' bench.
• Former Sixer Ersan Ilyasova scored 14 points as did Dennis Schroder.
• Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot reached a new career high with 10 rebounds.
• T.J. McConnell neared a double-double (13 points, eight assists).
Brown T'd up
Brett Brown was issued a technical foul in the third quarter after walking halfway across the court to argue a foul called on Shawn Long. Long fell to the ground as Howard backed his way toward the basket.
The rest of the quarter was physical. There were two jump balls called in less than two minutes, including one between Justin Anderson and Bazemore that followed after Anderson blocked a Hawks' alley-oop attempt.
Ilyasova played his first game in Philadelphia since being traded to the Hawks the night before the deadline. The veteran power forward was key in the development of Saric while he was with the Sixers for 53 games. He is averaging 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds for the Hawks.
"It's part of the business. Obviously, no hard feelings," Ilyasova said of the trade. "I really appreciate the organization ... I wish them the best of luck."
Iverson at Wells Fargo Center
Sixers legend and Hall of Famer, Allen Iverson, took in the action.
Iverson in the building pic.twitter.com/KGbVdlWwfw— Jessica Camerato (@JessicaCamerato) March 30, 2017
The Sixers will travel to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers (47-26) on Friday. The Cavs have lost two straight and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.