The 76ers weren't going to take a chance with center Spencer Hawes, who has tried playing through a lower back strain the last three games, but aggravating the injury each time.

So Sixers coach Doug Collins decided to keep Hawes out of the team's game Wednesday against the Knicks. The Sixers are in a stretch of playing five games in six nights, and Collins didn't want to risk losing Hawes for longer.

Tony Battie, the 14-year veteran, started in Hawes' place.