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76ers Start Fast And Roll Past Hawks, 117-83

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ATLANTA (AP) – Elton Brand scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half and Philadelphia jumped out to a 20-point lead in the opening period and cruised to a 117-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

Louis Williams, from South Gwinnett High School near Atlanta, had 20 points to lead six Philadelphia scorers in double figures. Thaddeus Young and Jodie Meeks each had 16.

Philadelphia shot 54.4 percent from the field and took a 50-35 advantage in rebounds.

The 76ers, who had a three-game winning streak end with a loss at New York on Sunday, have won seven of nine.

Josh Smith, the only Atlanta player to log at least 30 minutes, had 16 points. Damien Wilkins had 12 points and Marvin Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Hawks had won 14 of their last 16 at home, but this was not their first ugly loss at Philips Arena. The Hawks were held to the lowest-scoring game in Atlanta history in a 100-59 home loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Jan. 21.

It’s no coincidence the Hawks were without All-Star center Al Horford in each lopsided loss. Horford missed the Jan. 21 loss with an ankle injury and was held out against the Sixers for the second straight game with a back contusion. Horford hurt his back in a fall on Friday night after a flagrant foul by the Clippers’ Blake Griffin.

Zaza Pachulia started for Horford and had only two points and two rebounds.

Atlanta coach Larry Drew tried new combinations as the Sixers’ lead grew quickly, but there were no answers for Philadelphia’s hot shooting on Atlanta’s bench. The Sixers led 33-13 in the opening period.

Philadelphia made 64.3 percent of its shots (27 of 42) for a 65-33 halftime lead.

The lone bright spot for Atlanta was rookie Jordan Crawford, who had nine points, seven rebounds and five assists in his rare opportunity for substantial playing time.

NOTES: The 33 first-half points set a season low for Atlanta. The Sixers matched their season high with the 65 first-half points, also a season high for Hawks opponents. … Horford had soreness in his back in Tuesday’s shooting practice but said he expects to play on Saturday against Charlotte.

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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