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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jrue Holiday had 16 points and 11 assists, and Thaddeus Young scored 20 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 90-76 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.
Andre Iguodala scored 11 points and Elton Brand grabbed 16 rebounds to help the 76ers win for the ninth time in 11 games and improve to 7-1 at home.
The Sixers left a dismal first half in the dust with a sensational third quarter. Jodie Meeks hit a pair of 3-pointers and Iguodala rocked nearly 18,000 fans with a pair of thunderous dunks during a 14-0 run.
In a game between teams that started the night as division leaders, the Hawks were in control until the Sixers found their way.
Holiday had five of his 11 assists in the third and the Sixers pulled ahead by 18 in the fourth.
Former Sixer Willie Green scored 14 points and Jeff Teague had 12 for the Hawks, who snapped a four-game winning streak. Atlanta had been perfect since All-Star center Al Horford tore his left pectoral muscle, an injury that required surgery and could keep him out for the rest of the season.
Even Horford couldn’t have done much to stop the Sixers’ mix of fastbreak dunks and 3-pointers in the third. Coming off their first home loss of the season, and a game Saturday at Miami, the Sixers knew they had to have this one to keep the early-season good vibes going.
Iguodala ignited the run when he scooped up a loose ball of an Atlanta turnover and turned it into a driving slam that cut it to 51-50. Meeks buried consecutive 3s to the delight of a loud and large crowd. Years of .500 or worse basketball had sucked the life out of the Wells Fargo Center. Sure enough, thanks to a fast start and slashed ticket prices, the arena is suddenly the place to be on a Friday night — or any night.
Holiday ended the run on a highlight reel-worthy feed to Iguodala for an alley-oop that nearly brought down the rim.
Yes, this was the same team that looked disconnected and missed 12 of their first 17 shots.
The Sixers even played without center Spencer Hawes (left Achilles’ strain). Hawes will also miss Saturday’s game at Miami.
Philadelphia triggered its offense off the fastbreak and turnovers and buried the Hawks with easy buckets. Iguodala, who fans wanted traded after years of symbolizing a stagnant franchise, has been embraced this season for giving them the flashy dunks in combination with the flashy victories. The Sixers had built their Atlantic Division lead by burying some of the NBA’s worst teams. Even without Horford, the Sixers passed a nice test of beating a division leader.
Notes: Iguodala became the fifth Sixer with 1,000 career steals. He’s behind Maurice Cheeks, Allen Iverson, Julius Erving and Charles Barkley. … The Sixers are off to their best start since they went 12-2 in 2000-01. … The Hawks turned the ball over 15 times.
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