ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young had 33 points and 12 assists, John Collins added 25 points, and the Atlanta Hawks beat Philadelphia 130-122 on Wednesday night, handing the playoff-bound 76ers their second straight loss.
The Sixers began the night needing one victory and a loss by Boston to secure the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they have dropped four of six, a stretch that began with a last-second setback at Atlanta 10 days ago.
Philadelphia ended the regular season 1-3 against the rebuilding Hawks, this setback versus a 50-loss team that was coming off a loss at San Antonio a night earlier.
Coming off a lackluster loss at Dallas two nights ago, the Sixers were without star center Joel Embiid for the third straight game. Forward Jimmy Butler returned from a one-game absence with back tightness and finished with 16 points.
Philadelphia, which missed 16 of 38 free throws, got 30 points from J.J. Redick and 21 from Tobias Harris. After 27 lead changes and 13 ties in the first three quarters, the Sixers never led in the fourth.
Young hit game-winning shot on Butler 10 days ago. Young had 32 in that game and he was at it again, his 10th assist coming on John Collins’ reverse dunk that put the Hawks up 85-84. Young missed a long 3 but grabbed his own rebound and dribbled free for a left-handed layup that made it 119-106 with 5:35 remaining.
Collins blocked Tobias Harris’ dunk attempt a few seconds later and followed a few possessions later with a dunk that made it 121-111.
DeAndre’ Bembry scored 17 points and Kevin Huerter added 15 for the Atlanta.
Sixers: James Ennis III left the game with a right quad contusion and didn’t return. ... Embiid missed his third straight game and will have his knee reevaluated Thursday. Coach Brett Brown didn’t have an immediate timetable before the game for Embiid’s return. Milwaukee brings the NBA’s best record to the Wells Fargo Center later that night. ... Wednesday marked the first time in 16 games that the Sixers didn’t hit 70 percent of their foul shots. ... Two Sixers icons, Julius Irving and Allen Iverson, watched the game from the stands.
Hawks: Taurean Prince returned to the starting lineup despite being listed as questionable and missing the last three games with foot soreness. ... Young had his 17th game, tied for third-most in the NBA, with at least 20 points and 10 assists. Russell Westbrook has 24 and James Harden 23.
SPECIAL NIGHT OFF
Hawks G Vince Carter was given the day off after playing 28 minutes at San Antonio and spent the game as an analyst on Atlanta’s TV broadcast. The 42-yeaer-old Carter said before the game that he’s leaning toward coming back next season for what would be his 22nd in the NBA and wants to return for a second season with Atlanta. He has averaged 7.5 points in his first season with the Hawks and added he’s “1,000 percent certain” he will become a broadcaster after retiring.
Sixers: Host Milwaukee on Thursday.
Hawks: At Orlando on Friday.
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