The Atlanta Hawks are hoping to get Al Horford(notes) their All Star center back in time to face the Philadelphia 76ers. If Josh Smith(notes) can duplicate his most recent performance, they might not need their All-Star center to win.
The Hawks look for their 15th victory in 17 home games when they host the 76ers on Tuesday night.
After hitting the floor on a hard flagrant foul with 0.6 seconds remaining Friday, Al Horford made two free throws to give Atlanta (33-18) a 101-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Horford, who suffered a bruised back on the play, sat out Saturday’s game at Washington. He - along with fellow All Star Joe Johnson(notes) (rest) and Smith (knee) - missed practice Monday. Johnson and Smith are likely to be active Tuesday, but Horford’s status is unclear.
“I’m sure (trainer) Wally (Blase) will be listening to Al to see how he feels,” coach Larry Drew told the Hawks’ official website. “If he feels like he can go I am sure he will let him know. If not then he will probably have to just sit.”
With Horford sidelined, Smith went 11 of 19 from the floor en route to 29 points and also registered a season-best 16 rebounds to lead the Hawks over the Wizards 99-92.
“We have so many weapons on the team, it can be anybody’s night at any given time,” Smith said. “Coach was running plays for me and I was able to execute.”
While Horford is averaging 17.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in two wins over Philadelphia this season, Smith has been limited to a total of 21 points on 30.8-percent shooting versus the Sixers.
Johnson, who scored 21 Saturday, missed Atlanta’s 93-88 win over the 76ers on Dec. 3 due to an elbow injury but is averaging 27.5 points in his last four home meetings against them.
Philadelphia (23-27) had won six of seven overall before losing 117-103 at New York on Sunday.
“…We had a great streak and we’re playing really well, so we need to regroup and get on to Atlanta,” said forward Elton Brand(notes), who totaled 61 points in the Sixers’ home-and-home series with the Knicks.
The 76ers dropped to 1-16 when allowing more than 100 points. They could have trouble slowing down a Hawks team that has scored at least 100 in seven of eight home games.
Brand credits chemistry for Philadelphia’s recent success.
“I think character has a lot to do with camaraderie and how guys play and just the team wants to win for each other,” he said. “(Guys) are pro team no matter what the situation is and thats what you get when you have good character guys, and we have that on our team.”
Sixers forward Andre Iguodala(notes) is averaging 14.5 points per game, his lowest since averaging 12.3 in 2005-06. He had a season-best 27 points and 10 assists in a 104-101 loss to Atlanta on Oct. 29, and is averaging 20.7 points in his last 11 games in the series.
Philadelphia has lost four of its last five meetings with the Hawks.