Philadelphia 76ers guard Damien Wilkins (8) shoots under pressure during the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks, who swarmed the 76ers all night in a 124-101 win.
PHILADELPHIA -- Larry Drew challenged his players before the game to come out with a sense of urgency.
The Atlanta Hawks coach watched his team build a nine-point halftime lead and then proceed to run past the Philadelphia 76ers, 124-101, Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Josh Smith led the Hawks with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Four other Hawks reached double figures -- John Jenkins (21), Mike Scott (17), Al Horford (16) and Jeff Teague (13).
"I think we all had an understanding of how we needed to play and what we needed to do," Horford said. "It was important to get into a rhythm. I felt like we brought that energy tonight."
In the process, the Hawks (43-36) snapped a maddening three-game losing streak. They also broke a four-game skid at Philadelphia and moved into a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race with the Chicago Bulls.
"We know as players the importance of going down the stretch of these last three games that we have to be able to build an identity of how we're going to play in the postseason," Smith said. "We felt like we did a good job of controlling the tempo and keeping the momentum going throughout the game."
Thaddeus Young paced the Sixers with 28 points while Nick Young had 19. Dorell Wright scored 15 points while Jrue Holiday chipped in with 12.
It was the third straight loss for Philadelphia (31-47) and its second rout in two nights. On Tuesday, the Sixers fell at Brooklyn 104-83.
The frustration was evident as the Hawks went on a 18-6 run in the third quarter to take a 77-57 lead with 5:51 remaining. During the spurt, Holiday picked up a rare technical foul for arguing a non-call with the officials.
Holiday missed nine of his first 11 shots and the frustration was visible on the face of the first time All-Star.
"We've just got to keep it going," Thaddeus Young said. "We're still playing games. We still have a job to do and every day, we just have to come to work and keep it going the best we can."
The Hawks were very effective offensively in the first half, going 22-for-44 from the field and 10 for 10 from the free throw line. They even connected on half their shots -- 5 for 10 -- from 3-point territory.
Smith had 17 points while Jenkins and Scott contributed 10 points each as the Hawks built a 59-51 advantage.
"I think we set a good tone in the first half," said Hawks guard Kyle Korver. "We jumped on them in the third quarter and closed it out. I think it was a huge win for us."
Thaddeus Young kept the Sixers close with a stellar first half. Young was 11 for 16 and finished with 22 points and six rebounds. He was the only Philadelphia player in double figures and his offensive output was the most by any Sixers player in any half this entire season.
NOTES: Hawks forward Josh Smith scored in double figures for the 68th time this season. Smith had 11 points in the first quarter alone. ... Spencer Hawes started at center for the Sixers for the 36th straight game after coming off the bench the first 42 games. ... Atlanta center Johan Petro was inactive for personal reasons. ... Evan Turner is the only Sixers player to have started every game this season. ... The Sixers' final home game will be Sunday against the Cavaliers. Many of the Sixers' players from the 1982-83 championship season are expected to be in attendance. ... Devin Harris started at guard for the Hawks despite being questionable with a sore left foot.