Lou Williams admitted that this was not a typical NBA game.

Even though Wiliams' Atlanta Hawks lost to his former 76ers team, 99-80, on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center, he appreciated his first game against his former team. Williams played his first seven NBA seasons with the Sixers.

"It was special," said Williams, who had 13 points, one below his season average. "For me to have an opportunity to be drafted in the second round and for them to take a chance on me and give me the opportunity here for seven years, it's something I will always be grateful for."

He was also greeted warmly by the crowd of 18,061.

"For them cheering me tonight was huge," he said.

Williams shot 4 for 12 from the field, and his team wasn't much better. The Hawks were 31 for 79 (39.2 percent).

"I thought we played really bad, and they played really well," he said. "It was one of those games [where] they got everybody healthy."

And Williams also sensed that it was as big a deal for his ex-teammates to play him as it was for him to compete against them.

"I thought those guys were [as] excited to play against me as I was excited [to play] against them," he said. "They brought their best effort, and we just didn't have it."

Contact Marc Narducci at mnarducci@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @sjnard.