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Hawks hold off 76ers for second straight win

It’s a win streak.

It may have come against two injury depleted and well below-.500 teams but it’s a win streak nonetheless.

Two consecutive win are exactly what the Hawks need right now as they fight for a playoff spot and positing in the waning NBA regular season. The Hawks defeated the 76ers 99-92 Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center. The win came a night after a home win over the Suns.

The Hawks (39-36) won their seventh straight over the Sixers, including all four games this season. They remain fifth in the Eastern Conference standings with seven games remaining.

Kent Bazemore returned after missing five games with a right knee bone bruise and had 19 points, including four 3-pointers. The Hawks, still missing two starters, also got a big game from Dwight Howard with 22 points and 20 rebounds. They also got double-digit scoring from Tim Hardaway Jr. (19), Ersan Ilyasova (14) and Dennis Schroder (14). Bazemore came off the bench in his first game back and scored all but two of the points from reserves.

The Sixers used an 11-4 run to start the fourth quarter and pull within two points, 83-81. Hardaway hit a 3-pointer to stop the run and give the Hawks needed separation. The Sixers never got closer.

The Sixers (28-47) played with eight players. Richaun Holmes led the team with 25 points.

The Hawks led by as many as 10 points in the first half and took a 52-43 lead into intermission. Most of the Hawks offense came from Ilyasova (14 points), Howard (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Bazemore (11 points, 3 of 3 from 3-point range). They accounted for 38 of the 52 first-half points. It took just one half for Howard to record with 17th straight game with 10 or more rebounds and his eighth straight double-double.

The Hawks led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter and took a 79-70 lead into the final period.

The Hawks were again shorthanded even with the return of Bazemore as they were without two starters. Paul Millsap missed his seventh straight game with left knee synovitis. Thabo Sefolosha missed his third straight game with right groin strain.

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