By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers had all the momentum as they faced the Atlanta Hawks tonight. Looking to strike the decisive blow and taking a commanding 3-1 series lead. However, some sloppy play and a power outage late in the game cost them. The Hawks were able to take full advantage and beat them 103-100 to tie the series up at two games apiece.
It did not look good early on for Philly they could not buy a basket. They missed their first four shots. While Atlanta came out on fire. They were hitting their shots and Philly had no answers for them. They had to take an early timeout to stop the momentum. Then the Sixers woke up. They were led by forward Tobias Harris (20-points) and guard Seth Curry (17-points) who took full advantage of some lackadaisical defense. They combined for 37-points and were making the Hawks pay for leaving them open. Thanks to their scoring prowess Philly had a 13-point lead by half-time and were threatening to blow this game wide open.
Then the second half happened, and the Sixers could not buy a basket in both quarters. They only scored 38-points. The lowest second-half output of the season for Philly. Credit to the Hawks they played a lot better defense, but Philly helped them out by settling for shots and not attacking. When Philly looks at the tape of this game, they will see that they let Atlanta off the hook. They must find a way to get somebody other than Embiid, Harris, Simmons, and Curry to score. That power outage and 12 turnovers cost Philly this game.
On the team’s performance and what he could have done better, “I should’ve been aggressive and attacked more. I think the spacing was off,” said Sixers guard/forward Ben Simmons.
Atlanta was able to take full advantage as they started to hit their shots and take all the momentum in the game back. Trae Young came alive late in the game. He scored 25-points and hit some clutch free-throws late in the game to save the Hawks season. He was able to hit a clutch three-pointer off an offensive rebound which put Atlanta ahead. Now the Hawks will need some more scoring out of somebody other than him and Bogdan Bogdanovic to give them something if they want to send the Sixers home.
Philly collapsed in this game, and they will need to find a way to respond on Wednesday night in Philly. They are missing Danny Green who strained his hamstring, and his absence was felt in this game. Somebody will need to step-up to help center Joel Embiid who was clearly affected by his injury tonight. They will get a day off to get right before its back at it again. Coach Rivers will need to find a way to get an offensive surge from somebody else if he wants to keep the Hawks down.
On what needs to happen for game 5, “Gotta stay locked in,” said Simmons.