By Sam Bush
For the Sixers, the NBA is littered with players they used to employ who come back to bite them.
Former Sixer 3-point specialist Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap each scored 17 points and Atlanta beat the 76ers 95-79 on Wednesday night, giving the Hawks their longest winning streak in 17 years.
Korver sank five 3-pointers as Atlanta (15-6) won its eighth straight – the Hawks’ longest since an 11-0 start to the 1997-98 season.
“I think we all feel good,” Korver said. “It’s fun playing basketball when we’re winning.”
DeMarre Carroll had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta, which shot only 41.8 percent from the field. The Hawks finally stretched the lead in the final period.
Philly coach Brett Brown held out forward Brandon Davies. Brown said he could not confirm Davies is about to be traded, but he indicated a trade could be coming.
“I was aware that his name was a part of it and I spoke to him before the game and told him that and said that I wasn’t going to be able to play him tonight and risk things that were moving,” Brown said. “I felt out of fairness to him he needed to know why he’s not in the game.”
Davies, in his second season, is averaging 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds. He has started six of 20 games.
The Hawks averaged 104 points in their first seven wins of the streak, but they had to rely on defense against Philly.
“It was kind of ugly, not the best basketball game for us,” said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. “We were good enough to get the win. We’ve got to get better.”
Alexey Shved had 13 points to lead the 76ers (2-19), who have won two of four since their 0-17 start. Luc Mbah a Moute had 12 points, and K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant each had 10.
“Tonight, I think we were a little stagnant,” said Philly’s Michael Carter-Williams, who had eight points, 10 rebounds and a game-high nine turnovers.
“We didn’t get into our sets quick enough,” Carter-Williams said. “And of course our turnovers killed us.”
Strong defense helped overcome a sluggish game for Atlanta’s offense. The Hawks never trailed and led 47-38 at halftime and 68-58 entering the final period.
A 3-pointer by Korver stretched the lead to 79-62. A basket by Mike Muscala, who had 12 points, pushed the lead over 20 points for the first time at 89-68.