Playing without All-Star Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers blew open a close game in the third quarter Friday night and coasted to a 101-91 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Embiid didn’t make the trip after suffering a concussion and an orbital fracture when he collided with teammate Markelle Fultz Wednesday night in a 118-101 win over New York. Embiid is expected to be out 2-4 weeks, meaning the earliest he could return would be for Philadelphia’s playoff opener.
In Embiid’s absence, the 76ers turned to balanced scoring and defense to notch their 45th win. Six players finished in double figures, led by Ersan Ilyasova with 21 points and J.J. Redick with 19. Ilyasova added 16 rebounds for a double-double.
Ben Simmons contributed a 13-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist triple-double — his 11th of the season — while Marco Belinelli came off the bench to chip in 11 points. Fultz and Robert Covington finished with 10.
Damion Lee paced Atlanta with 20 points, while Taurean Prince and Isaiah Taylor hit for 12. Dewayne Dedmon added 11 points and 15 rebounds, while Tyler Dorsey came off the bench to score 10 points. It wasn’t enough to keep the Hawks from losing their fifth straight game. Atlanta converted just 35.6 percent of its field goal tries and shot a brutal 9 of 39 from the 3-point line.
Atlanta led 22-21 at the 3:25 mark of the first quarter when Prince, who tallied 10 points in the period, drove for a dunk. Philadelphia rallied and grabbed a 30-27 edge when Fultz converted a driving layup with 1.9 seconds left.
The 76ers opened up a 43-32 advantage with 4:28 left in the second quarter when Covington stroked a 3-pointer, but managed only four points for the half’s remainder. The Hawks pulled within 47-41 at the half after Isaiah Taylor drove for a layup with 29.1 seconds remaining.
After Lee canned a 3-ball to draw Atlanta within three points, Philadelphia ran off and hid. It outscored the Hawks 39-15 for the quarter’s remainder, with Redick draining a pullup with 8.1 seconds left to make the lead 86-59.
The margin reached 28 in the fourth quarter before Atlanta made the final margin more respectable.
—Field Level Media