By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high after beating the Boston Celtics on Monday night. They played the Atlanta Hawks who were trying to avoid the sweep in their season series against Philly. Atlanta was able to take full advantage of a late-game Philly power outage to steal a victory 98-96.
The game did not start out well for the Sixers. They were missing their shots early in the game. It affected them on both sides of the ball as they were also missing defensive assignments which allowed the Hawks to build a big lead. Philly was able to erase the deficit thanks to a returning Tyrese Maxey. Who picked up right where he left off. Maxey refused to let the Sixers go down the Hawks. He scored 17-points and they had no answers for him. He was hitting shots all over the court. Maxey single-handedly led Philly back to tie the game at 51 by half-time.
On his performance, “Doesn’t matter if I come off the bench doesn’t matter if I start just want to help my team win,” said Maxey.
The Hawks would not go away though as they were able to start the third quarter strong and Philly just could not keep up with them. They were led by John Collins (17-points) and Cam Reddish (18-points). The duo combined for 35-points and gave Philly fits all night they were attacking the basket and Philly had no answers for them. Collins was hitting his shots when the Hawks needed it most. Philly could not respond throughout this game and that is what did them in.
Late in the fourth quarter in particular Bogdan Bogdanovic who hit the Hawks last 10-points in the last period. Philly had done an excellent job of keeping him in check. When his team needed it most, he put the Sixers to bed with a late-game shot that was the difference maker. Despite that Philly still had a chance to win the game, but Joel Embiid missed a last-minute shot that would have tied the game.
On his team’s effort tonight, “We approached the game casually… Disappointing,” said Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
The Sixers will now prepare for the Washington Wizards on Sunday night, and they will need to have a better start to the game if they want to keep up with the Wizards. Additionally, they will have to improve on their perimeter defense if they want to stifle the backcourt of Washington and get their 17th win of the season.