76ers-Hawks Preview

For the first three years of his NBA career, James Anderson

mostly came off the bench and provided some scoring. Now he’s

trying to build off the best game of his career as he continues

navigating being a full-time starter.

Anderson and the 76ers seek a second straight win Friday night

as they play the Atlanta Hawks.

With a career scoring average of 4.2 points, the 20th overall

pick in 2010 had reached double figures in scoring just 10 times in

125 games and twice in Philadelphia’s first eight contests this

season. The shooting guard, though, had a breakout performance in a

123-117 overtime victory Wednesday night against the Houston

Rockets, making 12 of 16 shots to finish with a career-high 36

points – nearly double his previous high of 19 set against Golden

State on April 26, 2012, while with San Antonio.

”I got in a rhythm early and guys did a good job finding me,”

said Anderson, who made 6-of-8 three-pointers as his scoring

average jumped to 10.1 points. ”I finally got an opportunity and

it’s great timing.”

The 76ers (5-4) played without rookie Michael Carter-Williams,

who missed the game because of a bruised left arch. In his place,

Anderson carried more of the offense and Tony Wroten had a

memorable game of his own, becoming the first player in NBA history

to record a triple-double in his first start with 18 points, 11

rebounds and 10 assists.

“I have never got a triple-double in my life. Middle school,

high school, college – never,” Wroten said. “So it’s just


Still, Carter-Williams’ absence leaves many glaring holes for

Philadelphia. The 11th overall pick leads the 76ers in assists

(7.6) and steals (2.6) and is second in scoring at 17.4 points per

game. He also leads all rookies in minutes played at 36.6 per


The 76ers will once again rely on small forward Evan Turner, who

has scored 20 or more points in eight of the team’s nine games.

Even if Anderson and Wroten can again replace his scoring

production, Carter-Williams will be missed on the defensive end,

where 76ers will have to contain Hawks point guard Jeff Teague.

Averaging 18.1 points and 9.9 assists – both career highs – Teague

has been the catalyst for a revamped Atlanta attack this


The Hawks are scoring 103.0 points per game – five more than

their 2012-13 average – thanks in large part to Teague, who has

more control of the offense this season under first-year coach Mike

Budenholzer. Still, Atlanta has been sloppy at times, and its 15

turnovers led to 23 points for New York in a 95-91 loss Wednesday


”We made mistakes,” said Teague, who had 25 points and eight

assists but also four turnovers. ”We’re still a new group and

we’re still trying to figure one another out. We’re getting better

every game.”

Al Horford, who added 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting, averaged

15.5 points and 9.6 rebounds in four games versus Philadelphia last


”I feel good about our team,” Horford said. ”We just need to

learn how to hold the leads and finish out these games. We’ve let

some of these slip away, so we need to be better in that


The teams split four games last season, but Philadelphia has won

seven of the last nine meetings.