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  Wednesday, Jan. 19 7:00pm ET
Hughes dazzles amid trade speculation

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- If this was Larry Hughes' last game for Philadelphia, it sure was memorable.

Hughes, a sensational 20-year-old who could be headed to Miami for Jamal Mashburn, had 18 points and two spectacular dunks as the 76ers blew out the Atlanta Hawks 107-89.

"I'm disappointed to be moved at any point," said Hughes, who learned about the trade possibility after the game. "This is the team I came in with. These are the guys I came into the league with. I don't know any other players like I know these players in here."

The Sixers and Heat were close to a deal that would send Hughes and Billy Owens to the Heat for Mashburn, two league sources told The Associated Press. The Sixers declined comment. The proposed trade was awaiting approval by both clubs, said the sources, who had knowledge of the deal and spoke on condition of anonymity.

However, Sixers general manager Billy King told ESPN's Jay Bilas that the deal would not happen.

"If it happens, it happens," Owens said. "I've been traded so many times, it's part of the business. I've got an open mind and if they move me and feel it can help their team, so be it. I like it here, though."

Hughes capped a high-flying show with a one-handed alley-oop dunk as the Sixers led by as many as 30. The Hawks made only one field goal in the third quarter and dropped to 3-15 on the road.

"It was an embarrassing third quarter," Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens said. "Sure, we missed some open shots, but there's no excuse not to get back on defense."

Allen Iverson had 25 points and eight assists for the Sixers, who have won four straight, six of seven and nine of 11. That's why trade talk didn't go over well in the Sixers' locker room.

"We're playing some of our best basketball," said center Matt Geiger, whose name has come up in other trade rumors. "We're one of the hottest teams in basketball right now. We're improving every night, and it's not a smart decision to try to stir something up like this."

Hughes, a 6-foot-5 guard who turns 21 on Sunday, passed to rookie Todd MacCulloch for a dunk that gave the Sixers their biggest lead -- 105-75 with 4:07 left. He dribbled out the final seconds and slapped hands with Owens, a reserve who had four points, before walking to the locker room.

Alan Henderson led the Hawks with 22 points, and Isaiah Rider had 17. Dikembe Mutombo had 12 rebounds but only three points as the Hawks made only 1 of 19 shots and scored 12 points in the third quarter. Atlanta's lone basket in the third was a 12-foot jumper by Bimbo Coles.

"One-for-19, that about sums it up," Rider said. "Shots weren't falling."

Wilkens said, "It's an off-year, a bad year." As for the Hawks' road woes, he said, "It's been going on too long."

Iverson scored 11 in the third, hitting 5 of 7 shots as Philadelphia outscored Atlanta 29-12.

If not for free-throw shooting, the Hawks would've had no shooting at all. They made 10 of 13 from the line in the third.

Hughes threw down an emphatic slam on a broken play off a pass from Matt Geiger, making it 80-56 with 2:06 left in the third. Hughes stuffed it two-handed and hung on the rim for good measure.

Game notes
Sixers coach Larry Brown left the bench early in the second quarter because of the stomach flu. Assistant John Calipari coached the team. ... Mashburn was in Lexington, Ky., on Wednesday night at Rupp Arena, where his jersey was retired in a ceremony before Kentucky's game with Mississippi. He left after halftime to catch a flight back to Miami. ... Iverson started a textbook fastbreak with a steal four minutes into the game. He passed behind his back to George Lynch, who touch-passed to Eric Snow, who set up Theo Ratliff for a dunk. The only player who dribbled was Iverson.

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