Sixers lose eighth consecutive road game

ATLANTA -- Jamal Crawford can relax. His seat on the Atlanta Hawks' team plane is safe after all.

Crawford recovered from an empty trip to the foul line, making two key free throws with 12 seconds left to help Atlanta rally for a 93-88 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

"There's going to be some games where you've just got to grind it and gut it out," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "I'm very proud of our team because we did that tonight."

Al Horford gave Atlanta its first lead with a three-point play with 31 seconds remaining as the Hawks earned their fifth consecutive win. Atlanta trailed 85-72 before closing the game with a 21-3 run.

Horford made a jumper with 1:24 left to trim the 76ers' lead to 88-86. Following a miss by Elton Brand, Horford scored again despite being fouled by Tony Battie and converted the resulting free throw.

The Sixers have dropped eight consecutive road games. They did not score in the final 2:18.

"We just couldn't get a basket," said Philadelphia coach Doug Collins, his shirt soaked with sweat. "That's been my concern the whole year long, that in a close game we couldn't find a basket."

After Horford's three-point play, Brand missed again and Crawford responded with an 0-for-2 trip to the line. Zaza Pachulia grabbed the loose ball after Crawford's second miss, and Crawford made both foul shots this time after he was fouled again.

The Hawks were scheduled to fly to Miami on Friday night for a game on Saturday.

"I thank Zaza," Crawford said. "If I had missed those two and they had won the game, I think I would have walked to Miami tonight."

Marvin Williams, who led Atlanta with 22 points, said Pachulia's big rebound was "huge, the play of the game."

"When the game is on the line like that, it's the little things that are important, and I had to do my part and get the rebound," Pachulia said. "When I saw he missed, I just followed the ball."

Brand had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Philadelphia, which went 13-for-19 from the free-throw line, compared to 23-for-28 for the Hawks.

"I think we get tight. I think there's that feeling that 'I don't want to make a mistake,' " Collins said. "We lost a golden opportunity tonight to beat a very good team on the road."

After Crawford's two free throws pushed the Hawks' lead to three, Jodie Meeks lost Andre Iguodala's inbounds pass, setting up two free throws by Horford.

"They did a good job changing up the game plan the second half," Iguodala said of the Hawks. "We didn't make the right adjustments. Just learn from our mistakes, that's the biggest thing."

Horford and Crawford each had 15 points for the Hawks, who played their second game since losing top scorer Joe Johnson for four to six weeks with a right elbow injury.

The Sixers had won two straight but Collins still tinkered with their lineup. Meeks, a second-year guard, made his first career start, replacing rookie Evan Turner, who had started the last 12 games. Turner moved into the lineup when Iguodala missed five games with right Achilles tendinitis.

Collins said before the game the lineup "just has not been a great fit" with Turner and Iguodala starting together.

"He knows this is not a demotion," Collins said of Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's NBA draft.

Turner averaged 12.8 points in the five games Iguodala missed but only seven points in the last four games.

Turner finished with 11 points and Meeks had nine. Iguodala had 10 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.

Game notes
Johnson's right arm was in a sling as he sat on the bench following surgery Thursday to remove bone chips from his elbow. He said the swelling in the elbow is not as bad as expected. ... Newly signed guard-forward Damien Wilkins was with the Hawks for Friday morning's shootaround but was not in uniform for the game. Wilkins, a six-year NBA veteran, is the son of former NBA player Gerald Wilkins and nephew of Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins. ... Collins smiled as he said he waited as long as possible to post his lineup before the game. "Larry Drew is my former assistant, so I'm going to make him squirm," Collins said. Drew was an assistant on Collins' Washington staff from 2000-03. ... The 76ers are 1-10 on the road. Their only road win came on Nov. 7 at New York.