The Atlanta Hawks hope the momentum from ending one losing streak will help them snap another.
The Hawks try to stop a season-high road skid when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday in the final meeting between two teams outside the playoff picture.
Philadelphia (30-45) is 11th in the Eastern Conference, 2 1/2 games ahead of 13th-place Atlanta (28-48), which will likely miss the playoffs for the eighth straight season.
The Hawks snapped an overall seven-game slide with a 115-102 victory over Milwaukee on Friday. Reserve Salim Stoudamire went 7-of-11 from beyond the 3-point arc and scored 21 points, while Shelden Williams had 12 points and 16 rebounds.
The injury-riddled Hawks trailed 39-29 after the first quarter, but outscored the Bucks in each of the final three periods and finished with a 52-36 rebounding edge.
“We all got off to a bad start. We didn’t want to get embarrassed tonight. In the second quarter we picked it up defensively and tried to win every quarter from there on out,” said Hawks forward Josh Smith, who had 28 points and a career-high 18 boards. “Plus, being on that seven-game skid, we wanted to get a little confidence boost. I think winning this game did that.”
Smith has certainly provided a boost for the Hawks, who have been playing without leading scorer Joe Johnson (right calf contusion), Josh Childress (stress fracture in right foot), Zaza Pachulia (sprained left ankle) and Speedy Claxton (sore left knee).
Smith is averaging 23.0 points and 13.3 rebounds over the last four games, a big jump from his season averages of 16.1 points and 8.6 boards. The third-year player had 26 points and 17 rebounds in a 104-92 win over Philadelphia in their last meeting March 13.
He hopes a similar performance will help the Hawks end a 10-game road losing streak, during which they are averaging 88.1 points and allowing 103.4. Atlanta has lost six straight trips to Philadelphia and 12 of the last 14.
The 76ers (30-45) have won two of the three meetings this season, but the March 13 defeat snapped their season-high seven-game winning streak and began a stretch of seven losses in 12 games.
Philadelphia held a one-point lead at halftime over Toronto on Friday, but was outscored 28-15 in the third quarter en route to a 94-85 defeat.
“You have to have your defense pick you up,” said Kyle Korver, who scored eight points off the bench for Philadelphia. “That was the hole we put ourselves in and we didn’t have enough to dig ourselves out.”
Sixers leading scorer Andre Iguodala had 20 points, while Samuel Dalembert contributed 15 and Andre Miller added 10 points and 11 assists. Philadelphia is playing the second of a three-game stretch at home, where it is 19-18 this season and has won 10 of the last 13.