Atlanta Hawks 90 FinalRecap | Box Score 95 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 37 MIN | 10-12 FG | 5-6 FT | 10 REB | 5 AST | 25 PTS | +11

Elton Brand was phenomenal.  In the decisive fourth period that his team trailed for much of — and, for context, the Sixers were coming off not only their worse loss of the season, but one that knocked them into second place for the first time since December — the veteran went 5-of-6 from the floor for 13 points, and added five rebounds (three of which were offensive), two assists, and a block.  He hit big shot after big shot after big shot.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is clutch.

Andre Iguodala, SF 43 MIN | 6-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | +10

His knee looked fine tonight.  His outside shot was falling — he went 3-of-4 from deep — and he did typically fine work defensively when he was matched up with Joe Johnson.  He delivered 43 very high-quality minutes.

Spencer Hawes, C 27 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -3

He was productive on the glass, but for the second straight game his touch was shaky.  The last two nights, Spence has gone 5-of-17 from the floor.

Evan Turner, SG 30 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 13 PTS | -3

The Kid had a strong third period, scoring 11 points.  He also played the role of good solider for Collins — spending a lot of time at power forward in the dead-legged Thad Young’s stead.  Though Josh Smith scored 34, much of it came against Thad.

Jrue Holiday, PG 30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 9 PTS | +13

In what has become an increasingly common occurrence, Holiday’s offensive game was shaky on Saturday, while his defense was just shy of extraordinary.  He held the underrated Jeff Teague to 8 points on 8 shots.

Tony Battie, C 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6

Moving along…

Lou Williams, PG 17 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | -10

On night two of a back-to-back, Lou, like Thad Young, looked exhausted.  His effectiveness suffered for it.

Sam Young, SF 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0

That’s a lot of zeros.

Thaddeus Young, F 21 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +1

Like Lou, Thad struggled.  He looked thin, uncharacteristically unexplosive, and was out-hustled and out-muscled by Josh Smith all night.

Jodie Meeks, G 29 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +12

After following up his career night with a dud, Jodie bounced back with a strong showing for the Sixers.  He played all 12 fourth period minutes.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw

  1. Josh Smith overpowered Thad Young, consistently. Thad has reportedly lost 10 pounds over the course of this hyper-condensed season. Against Smith, who simply put his shoulder down and lumbered through him on several separate possessions, he looked it.
  2. While his tendinitis-afflicted knees remain worrisome–especially considering that he’s approaching 23,000 career regular season minutes–Iguodala looked healthy on Saturday. This is very, very good news.
  3. If one play served as a microcosm of the Sixers’ performance, it was this one: With two minutes remaining and the Sixers clinging to a three point lead, Iguodala, on the break and off a pass by Holiday, got blocked from behind by Josh Smith. Jrue Holiday then waded through traffic, grabbed the loose ball off the bounce, sliced back through the defense, and layed it off the glass and in. Effort. Guts, Focus. And a little bit of luck, After the Wizards debacle, it was great to see.
  4. From the anomaly department: The Sixers scored only six points on the break, and still won.
  5. From the Sixers stat department: The Sixers beat the Hawks by five points on Saturday, just the third time all season they’ve won a game by seven points or fewer (they’re 3-14 in such contests). Oddly, all three of their seven-points-or-fewer wins have come by five points.
  6. A terrific win from a tired team. And if it felt unusual to watch the Sixers come from behind to snag the W, it’s because it was. After the win, the 7-6 are now 2-18 when they enter the 4th period trailing.

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