The Philadelphia 76ers will look to halt a two-game skid when they battle the host Atlanta Hawks in the NBA in-season tournament on Friday.
Following an eight-game winning streak, the Sixers fell twice at home: to the Indiana Pacers in the in-season tournament and then 107-97 to the short-handed Boston Celtics on Wednesday without Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis.
The Sixers are 1-1 in the in-season tournament heading into Atlanta. Both teams are part of East Group A.
Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey led the Sixers with 20 points each while Robert Covington, De’Anthony Melton and Tobias Harris added 16 apiece against the Celtics.
What went wrong with two losses in two nights?
The Sixers looked a bit weary on the second leg of a back-to-back but they did receive surprising contributions from deep reserves Paul Reed (10 points) and Jaden Springer (nine points).
With an extra day off, the Sixers hope to be rested and ready.
The Hawks will look to rebound after a narrow 116-114 home loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday.
Atlanta has won its lone in-season tournament game and can stay undefeated with a victory against the Sixers.
When the Hawks have been successful this season, they’ve been aggressive on the boards and their defense has been in sync.
That wasn’t the case against the Knicks, according to head coach Quin Snyder.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 28 points off the bench. Jalen Johnson hit all four 3-pointers and scored 18 and reserve Saddiq Bey had 16.
Johnson’s shooting had to be encouraging.
Trae Young returned to the lineup after sitting out Tuesday’s game on the road against the Detroit Pistons. Young and his wife announced the birth of their second child.
Young finished with 15 points and 17 assists.