By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound after losing a heartbreaker on Wednesday night to the Boston Celtics. They were desperate for a victory as they faced the streaking Atlanta Hawks who were looking for some revenge after losing to Philly last month. Philly used an offensive explosion in the fourth quarter to beat the Hawks 98-96.
Philly did not start the game out well offensively. They were missing makeable shots and were cold to start the first quarter. They were able to ride out the early storm and Seth Curry killed the Hawks in the first quarter. He scored 18-points and in the first quarter they needed every bucket he could muster. He was able to take full advantage of the fact that Atlanta did not have any players who could keep up with him. He hit two three-pointers and when they forced him off the three-point line he would either take it to hole or shoot a shot from the perimeter. Curry continues to take full advantage of the increase in shot opportunities. This will be very important as the Sixers continue to look to him to be the third scorer.
Despite the offensive explosion from Curry. Atlanta was able to hang tough and retake the lead thanks to Trae Young. Who just would not let his team fall to Philly again. He scored 25-points and used his play-making abilities to find his teammates and get them involved. The Hawks took a commanding lead late in the third quarter and it looked like they would run the Sixers off the court.
Philly was able to make a late-game run thanks to a 20-to-nine scoring run in the fourth quarter which allowed them to retake the lead. They were powered by Joel Embiid who looked like himself late in the game when his team needed him the most. He hit the game-winning shot and scored 28-points. Philly played like the more desperate team.
On his big man’s aggressiveness, “He was aggressive… The aggressive attempts we’ll live with all day… That was a breakthrough for him, since COVID trying to get his rhythm back,” said Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
They got the win they needed and now have two days to prepare for the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night. Philly will need to have another great performance on the defensive end. If they want to hold down the backcourt of the Hornets and get their 13th win of the season.
On the win, “We’re not going to make excuses. We’re just out there having each other’s back… This group is a bunch of fighters. We’re gritty, we’re tough, and we never fold,” said 76ers Forward Georges Niang.