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The Philadelphia 76ers' Thaddeus Young (21) vies for a loose ball with the Atlanta Hawks' Jeff Teague during the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. (Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Daily News/MCT)

76ers fall hard to Hawks

PHILADELPHIA -- Thaddeus Young did everything but help the 76ers avoid a blowout loss.

Motivated to play against his former teammates, the power forward put on a show Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center. But Lou Williams, Kyle Korver and Elton Brand had bragging rights, as the Hawks prevailed, 125-99.

Young finished with 29 points on an array of dunks and jump shots and three three-pointers. Twenty-three of his points came in the first half. The 6-foot-8, 230-pounder also finished with eight rebounds, five steals and a blocked shot before sitting out the fourth quarter. The only negative was his career-high tying six turnovers.

The Sixers dropped to 15-32 while losing for the 11th time in 14 games. The Hawks improved to 24-21.

But before the game, Young said it was always good to face his former teammates. He even said they are like big brothers to him.

"So it's definitely one of those situations you want to go out there and beat your big brothers," Young said.

But the big brother showed they still have it.

Korver, who played 41/2 seasons in Philly before being traded to Utah in December 2007, made 3 of 4 three-pointers to score 11 points in 27 minutes. The shooting guard's 114 consecutive games with at least one three-pointer is an NBA record.

Brand, who spent four seasons with the Sixers, had a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. Williams had 12 points and five assists in 20 minutes off the bench. The reserve guard spent seven seasons with the Sixers.

But Brand and Williams' final season as Sixers was far different than this

Two seasons ago, their final year in Philadelphia, the Sixers were one win shy of reaching the Eastern Conference finals. But looking to upgrade, the franchise acquired then Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum and Orlando Magic shooting guard Jason Richardson in a four-team trade. In order to acquire the duo, the Sixers dealt Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets; Nik Vucevic and first-round pick Maurice Harkless to Orlando.

That trade was a disaster as Bynum due to knee injury never played for the Sixers. Nowadays, the franchise started its rebuilding process by sacrificing wins.

Brand said its surprising to see the former team to get this bad so fast.

"On the other note, they took a swing for the fences," said Brand, who lives in the Philadelphia area during the offseason. "You swing for the fences, sometimes you get whiffs. I understood what they tried to do to break that team up I get it. But at the same time, we had some good talent."

Back then, the squad released Brand, a former all-star, under the league's amnesty clause. They weren't going to resign Williams. So he signed a free-agent deal with the Hawks.

"I don't think they should have broken that team up," Williams said. "But business is business. A lot of the things you are not in control of on the business side of it.

"But from a basketball perspective, I feel like we were building into a pretty good young basketball team. Unfortunately things didn't work out."

(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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