February 9 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“While icing his tendinitis after Tuesday’s 117-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks, 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala read a book.
Technically, the game had ended only about 15 minutes earlier. But Iguodala had watched some of the third quarter and all of the fourth – no need risking injury in such a blowout – so to him it probably felt like a day-old victory by the time the locker room doors opened.
Book in hand, Iguodala relaxed as the ice bucket worked its magic on his often-aching Achilles tendon.
In a season where victories have arrived only after wire-to-wire effort, and even then arriving only intermittently, Tuesday’s runaway win must have felt to the Sixers like coming upon an oasis in the desert.
Certainly, the Sixers have been winning. But not in the way they did against the Hawks. This was a stranglehold, a 34-point blowout that was every bit as bad as it sounds.
The only good news for the Hawks was that not many folks witnessed the start of this embarrassing loss and even fewer were present at its end: Atlanta announced a crowd of 12,903, but half of that would be a more accurate count, and by game’s end no more than a third of that number remained.
The win improved the Sixers‘ record to 24-27. The Hawks, without injured all-star center Al Horford, dropped to 33-19.
“Going into it, I knew, and I told our guys that this would be a really tough ball game,” said Atlanta coach Larry Drew. “This would be a game, it would have to be us coming in with a playoff intensity, because I’ve watched the Philadelphia team play. And looking back on the last time we played them, I thought we were very fortunate to have won that game.”
That game, played Dec. 3, ended up being a 93-88 win for the Hawks. In that game, the Sixers led by 18 points in the second quarter, 13 in the fourth, and then, quite literally – Lou Williams lost the grip on a breakaway dunk that likely would have sealed the win – the Sixers let the game slip through their hands.”
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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