ATLANTA - Some might chalk up the 76ers' loss on Wednesday as a last-place team's falling to one of the hottest squads in the NBA. But it was more a case of struggling behind the arc and at the foul line.
Still, you have to give the Sixers this much: They kept things respectable through three quarters despite their shortcomings.
The Atlanta Hawks eventually prevailed, 95-79, at Philips Arena.
The loss denied the Sixers (2-19) an opportunity to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Hawks (15-6), meanwhile, have won eight consecutive games for the first time since 1997.
The Sixers didn't help their cause by suffering from a severe case of the poor-shooting blues. They shot just 24 percent on three-pointers (6 for 25) and 59.1 percent (13 for 22) from the foul line.
"Our offense is very far behind our defense," said Sixers coach Brett Brown, whose team shot 41.7 percent from the field, committed 18 turnovers, and was outrebounded by 52-39. "I thought we played well defensively for the most part to hold a team like that to 95 points."
Yet, as has been the case for most of the season, the Sixers offense struggled.
"We really struggled making shots," Brown said. "It's a little bit ratty when you go small and try to find a way to shoot yourself back in the game."
As part of the Sixers' small-ball approach, center Henry Sims didn't play in the second half, after scoring one point on 0-for-3 shooting before intermission.
Reserve guard Alexey Shved led the Sixers with 13 points in his first game back after missing three with a left hip-flexor strain. Luc Mbah a Moute added 12 points.
Michael Carter-Williams had his double-double streak snapped at two games. The point guard finished with 8 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks, and 9 turnovers.
Brandon Davies did not play for the Sixers because of trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets. Davies was later traded to Brooklyn for forward Andrei Kirilenko and a second-round pick, multiple sources confirmed.
Former Sixer Kyle Korver made 5 of 7 three-pointers to score 17 points for Atlanta. Paul Millsap also finished with 17 points. DeMarre Carroll (14 points and 11 rebounds), reserve Mike Muscala (12 points), and Al Horford (11 points) were the Hawks' other double-digit scores.
Sixers guard Tony Wroten missed his sixth consecutive game after spraining his right knee Nov. 26 against the Nets.
He was sidelined 11 days before returning to practice Monday. He participated in only parts of Tuesday's short practice after experiencing soreness at the end of practice Monday.
Sixers rookie guard K.J. McDaniels had 10 points while playing in front of 70 family members and friends. McDaniels is from nearby Birmingham, Ala.