Sixers-Hawks: 5 things you need to know

Sixers-Hawks: 5 things you need to know
March 31, 2014, 12:45 pm
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The Sixers (16-57) will try to win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly three months when they face the Atlanta Hawks (31-41) on Monday night.

Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (CSN) at Philips Arena.

Let’s take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Finally!
It took longer than they ever expected, but the Sixers finally got back in the win column.

The Sixers were able to avoid the longest losing streak in major professional sports history by rolling to a 123-98 win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. The victory snapped the Sixers’ 26-game skid and marked their first win in exactly two months.

Now they’ll go for consecutive wins for the first time since Jan. 2 and Jan. 4 when they travel to battle the struggling Hawks.

The Hawks, who are sitting just a game above the New York Knicks and 2½ games ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the eighth spot in the East, have lost six straight games. Atlanta is backing its way into the postseason with three losing streaks of at least six games since Feb. 4.

The Hawks were expecting to try and get back on track against a Sixers team down in the dumps. But now they’ll match up with a squad feeling as good as its felt in two months when the action gets started on Monday.

2. Three for all
A big reason the Sixers were finally able to shake their skid was their ability to knock down three-pointers against the Pistons.

The Sixers, who boast the league’s worst three-point percentage at 31.0, were on target from long range all night. They made 12 of 21 three-pointers (57.1 percent) with seven different players connecting from beyond the arc.

The Sixers should have plenty of opportunities from deep again on Monday. The Hawks are allow opponents to shoot 37.0 percent from three-point range, which ranks 23rd in the NBA.

3. Focal point
The Hawks have an All-Star in Paul Millsap, who averages 17.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

However, the Sixers have limited Millsap to just 20 points and eight rebounds combined in two games this season.

Their real downfall in a pair of losses to the Hawks has been the play of point guard Jeff Teague. He’s averaging 22.5 points and 9.0 assists against the Sixers in 2013-14.

The Sixers’ bid to win a second straight game will start with whether they can contain Teague.

4. Injuries
Byron Mullens (ankle) sat out Saturday and is listed as day to day.

Nerlens Noel (knee) and Jason Richardson (knee) are out.

Former Sixer Kyle Korver (back) has missed the last six games and is uncertain to play on Monday.

DeMarre Carroll (illness) is expected to return after missing one game.

Al Horford (pectoral), Gustavo Ayon (shoulder) and John Jenkins (back) are all out for the season for the Hawks.

5. This and that
• The Sixers haven’t won back-to-back games since beating the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 2 and the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 4 as part of their season-high four-game winning streak.

• The Hawks’ current six-game losing skid comes after they had won five in a row.

• The Hawks are averaging just 91.8 points per game during their six-game skid.

• The Sixers have lost 12 straight road games by an average of 19.7 points.

• Thaddeus Young is averaging 24.7 points in his last three games against the Hawks.

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