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Hawks win despite missing Big Dog, losing Davis

12/21/2002

ATLANTA (AP) -- On a night when they lost another player, at
least the Atlanta Hawks did not lose another game.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 28 points as the Hawks overcame the absence of Glenn Robinson and a season-ending injury to Emanual Davis to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 79-77 Saturday night.

Atlanta ended its five-game losing streak and snapped
Philadelphia's three-game winning streak.

Allen Iverson, who shot just 6-of-28 to finish with 13 points, declared it ``one of the worst games I've ever played.''

It couldn't have come at a better time for the struggling Hawks,
who had lost their previous five games by an average of 14.2 points.

Atlanta came into Saturday's game without the team-leading 21.6
scoring average of Robinson, who injured his back in a fall during
Friday's loss at Houston. He was replaced in the lineup by Davis.

But Davis suffered a torn right Achilles tendon midway through
the second quarter and will be lost for 6-to-8 months.

``We came in missing Big Dog (Robinson),'' Abdur-Rahim said, ``and I think everybody rallied around that. But things got tougher when Emanual went down, and he's big for this team. He means a lot to us.''

Running in the middle of the court, Davis tumbled without appearing to make contact with anybody. He had to be carried off the court by his teammates.

The loss of Davis, who missed the final 46 games of last season with a fractured wrist, adds to the injuries in Atlanta's backcourt. Rookie Dan Dickau is out for another 4-to-6 weeks after having surgery on his left knee.

Philadelphia had two chances to tie it, but Eric Snow missed a driving layup and Keith Van Horn got the rebound but rimmed out a 15-footer just before the final buzzer.

``We had opportunities, which was a miracle,'' 76ers head coach Larry Brown said. ``They had a bad injury tonight, they're coming off a difficult loss, they didn't have Glenn Robinson. We gave a great opportunity away.''

Ira Newble added 15 and Jason Terry had 12 for Atlanta, which
beat Philadelphia for just the second time in their last 12
meetings. Theo Ratliff had just five points and five rebounds in
his first game against his former team since being traded to
Atlanta on Feb. 21, 2001 in the deal that sent Dikembe Mutombo to
Philadelphia.

Snow carried Philadelphia down the stretch, scoring 11 of his 17
points in the fourth quarter.

Van Horn led the 76ers with 18 points, while Aaron McKie also
had 13.

``We always feel like we are never out of the game, and that was the case tonight,'' Iverson said. ``It was bad that we let ourselves get into that predicament.''

The Hawks led from the opening basket until Snow scored six
straight points to put the Sixers up 68-67 with 5:10 to play.

Newly acquired Kenny Thomas missed a pair of free throws that
would have extended the lead, and Abdur-Rahim responded with a pair
of baskets and Newble made a 3-pointer from the corner to put
Atlanta ahead 74-68 with three minutes left.

``It's not that the green light was on, because we're always looking to shoot,'' Newble said. ``But with Glenn out, our go-to guy became Shareef and they were focusing on him and doubling up on him. That's when the rest of us need to make our shots.''

Abdur-Rahim added another short-range basket to make it 76-68,
but Van Horn scored two quick baskets to pull the Sixers within
four with 1:03 left. Snow hit two more free throws to make it 76-74
with 40 seconds left.

Terry's driving layup put Atlanta back up by four with 25
seconds left, but Snow made a 3-pointer to pull Philadelphia within
one with 14 seconds left.

After Dion Glover hit one of two free throws to make it a
two-point game, Philadelphia missed its final two shots.

``Regardless of who's out there, we've been searching and struggling to get on in that column,'' Hawks head coach Lon Kruger said. ``It picks you up. Confidence-wise, it's a big lift.''

Both teams were coming off games from the night before -- the Hawks losing by 19 at Houston; the Sixers needing overtime to beat the defending champion Lakers.

Atlanta never trailed in the first half and held a 39-36 lead at halftime. Abdur-Rahim scored 14 of the Hawks' 27 first-quarter points, and had 18 at the break.

The Sixers tied it four times in the third quarter, but could never take the lead. McKie's jumper at the buzzer kept Philadelphia within two going into the fourth quarter.

Game notes
This was the 280th meeting between these two franchises,
with the Hawks holding a 143-137 edge. ... Atlanta's Robinson,
Abdur-Rahim and Terry have the second highest average (58.7) of any
trio in the league, behind only Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, Michael
Finley and Steve Nash (61.4). ... Iverson's streak of 150 games in
double figures is the longest active streak in the league.