While a debilitating winter storm in the South caused the Atlanta Hawks’ latest game to be postponed, it also gave starting point guard Jeff Teague a couple more days to heal.
There’s a chance Teague could be back after a two-game absence in Friday night’s road game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
With snow and ice making travel virtually impossible around the region, the Hawks were forced to call off Wednesday’s scheduled contest against Detroit because the Pistons couldn’t fly into Atlanta. That game would have been the Hawks’ sixth in 10 days.
Instead, they got a much-needed break and Teague got the opportunity to push back his attempt to return from a sprained left ankle. He was reportedly back at practice Thursday and will travel to Philadelphia, but his status is unclear for Friday’s game.
Teague was expected to miss at least two games after hurting the ankle in a 105-79 loss to San Antonio last Friday.
Atlanta (23-21) surely would like to have him back against Philadelphia. Teague had 33 points and 10 assists in a 113-103 win over the 76ers on Nov. 15, the only other matchup between the teams this season. He averaged 21.3 points and 10.3 assists in four games against Philadelphia in 2013, and the Hawks went 3-1.
However, they have been playing well without Teague, easily winning 112-87 at Milwaukee on Saturday before nearly knocking off Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City on Monday. Atlanta led by as many as 14 points in the second half but would lose 111-109, as Kevin Durant completed the Thunder’s comeback by scoring seven of his 41 in the final 2:34, including the go-ahead jumper with 1.5 seconds left.
"Our group really competed tonight," coach Mike Budenholzer said. "I think their commitment to each other and their commitment to playing the way we want to play is excellent. Losing is very hard in this league, and our guys are hurting."
Atlanta was denied a season-high third consecutive road victory, but now visits a 76ers team which has lost a season-worst four straight at home and 10 of 13 overall.
Philadelphia (15-31), though, snapped a three-game skid with Evan Turner’s buzzer-beater in a 95-94 win in Boston on Wednesday. Spencer Hawes had a team-best 20 points with four 3-pointers as all five starters scored in double figures.
"The biggest thing anybody can have is confidence. When someone gives you confidence, you can’t let them down," said Turner, who had 16 points. "Thankfully, I got that from my team, and I’m glad we got a win."
Turner had one of his best performances of the season against Atlanta with 27 points, though the Sixers lost as Rookie of the Year candidate Michael Carter-Williams sat out with a foot injury.
Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 21 that night and is averaging 15.6 over his last five games, shooting 62.5 percent.
The Hawks won 124-101 in their most recent visit to Philadelphia on April 10, ending a four-game skid there, despite Thaddeus Young’s 28 points on 14-of-20 shooting.
Kyle Korver’s NBA-record streak of hitting at least one 3-pointer is up to 113 games. The only two times the former Sixer has failed to make one on the road in the past two years were at Philadelphia on March 4, 2012, and the following month in Miami.