Sixers-Hawks 5 Things: Fighting Fatigue Coming Off 5-game Road Trip

The Sixers (28-46) return home from their five-game road trip for the second game of a back-to-back set against the Atlanta Hawks (38-36) on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m./CSN, CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports app).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

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1. Fight the fatigue
The schedule makers didn't do the Sixers any favors.

Fresh off a five-city, nine-day road trip, the Sixers received a gift from the league: yet another game. The Sixers will return home for the first time since March 19 to host the Hawks in their 16th and final back-to-back set of the season.

One bit of good news for the Sixers is that the Hawks also played last night and had to travel. They held on for a 95-91 home win over the Phoenix Suns to snap a seven-game losing skid.

2. Finish strong
Even better news for the Sixers is that they capped off their road trip with a victory. They executed down the stretch of a back-and-forth battle with the Brooklyn Nets for a 106-101 win.

Despite being limited to nine players, the Sixers got contributions from everyone. All nine scored in the game and five reached double figures. Dario Saric regrouped from a poor effort to post a team-high 23 points and seven rebounds, while Robert Covington notched a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

"They stayed together," Brett Brown said. "We got down, it was a fist fight for most of the game. We found a way to execute at the end, close it out at the end."

3. Welcome back
What a long, strange trip it's been for Ersan Ilyasova and it stops back in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

Ilyasova was acquired by the Sixers from Oklahoma City on Nov. 1 and traded to the Hawks on Feb. 22 for Tiago Splitter and a pair of draft picks. The latter transaction marked the fifth time Ilyasova was dealt during the last 20 months after he spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career all with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ilyasova proved every bit of his value as a veteran scorer during his brief stint with the Sixers. In 53 games with the team this season, he averaged 14.8 points a night on 44.0 percent shooting from the field and 35.9 percent shooting from three-point range. The 29-year-old also put up 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 27.3 minutes a contest.

More importantly, Ilyasova created a buffer that allowed Saric to ease into his rookie season in the NBA off the bench.

Ilyasova has had a smaller role for the playoff-seeking Hawks. In 24.4 minutes per game, he has averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 boards and 1.3 assists.

We'll see what Ilyasova has in store against the Sixers when the forward steps inside the Wells Fargo Center for the first time since Feb. 11.

4. Injuries
Jahlil Okafor (knee) and Gerald Henderson (hip) are game-time decisions. Sergio Rodriguez (hamstring), Joel Embiid (knee), Ben Simmons (foot) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) are out for the Sixers.

Thabo Sefolosha (groin) is a game-time decision. Paul Millsap (knee) is out for the Hawks.

5. This and that
• The Sixers have lost the season's three previous matchups against the Hawks by an average of 22 points.

• T.J. McConnell has 39 assists and 14 steals in the last five games.

• Dennis Schroder has averaged 14.0 points, 9.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds against the Sixers this season.

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