Don’t underestimate the Atlanta Hawks. As soon as once more, they’ve proven they’re able to pulling off the improbable.
After trailing by as many as 26 factors, the Hawks surprised the Philadelphia 76ers 109–106 in Recreation 5 of the second spherical of the NBA playoffs Wednesday night time. Behind a dominant fourth quarter rally, they stole a sport in Philadelphia to seize a 3-2 sequence lead.
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Listed here are three ideas on the comeback victory.
The Hawks by no means give up
In every of the final two video games of this sequence, the Hawks have trailed by no less than 18 factors. That feels like a recipe for 2 losses, proper? Suppose once more.
Atlanta by some means pulled off victories in each contests, doing so in spectacular vogue Wednesday night time.
The Hawks dug themselves an early gap and located themselves down by 20 halfway by means of the second quarter. However Trae Young and Co. discovered life towards the tip of the third quarter with the Sixers stars on the bench. They entered the fourth quarter down 87–69 earlier than happening to outscore Philadelphia 40–19 within the remaining body to win it.
Veteran guard Lou Williams scored 13 factors on 6-for-8 taking pictures within the fourth quarter to spark the trouble and Young went on a private 7–0 run to flip the comeback right into a actuality. He hit a mid-range jumper to carry the sport inside 4 factors with underneath three minutes left, adopted by one in all his signature working floaters. Shortly after, he drew a foul past the arc to earn three pictures on the stripe, the place he gave the Hawks their first lead of the night time.
It was all Atlanta the remainder of the way in which.
“These guys simply don’t surrender. They proceed to struggle,” Hawks interim head coach Nate McMillan stated.
That resiliency has turn out to be a key trait of this younger workforce. McMillan took the helm after former head coach Lloyd Pierce was fired midway by means of the yr, at which level they held a dismal 14–20 report. The Hawks defied expectations and went 27–11 the remainder of the way in which. They’ve topped it off with two huge comebacks and at the moment are on the cusp of an Japanese Convention Finals look.
The injured stars had been again
This yr’s playoffs have been adversely affected by accidents to lots of the league’s stars, together with a pair on this sequence.
Young has been coping with shoulder soreness whereas 76ers massive man Joel Embiid has been taking part in with a lateral meniscus tear in his proper knee. However you wouldn’t realize it by the appears of it Wednesday night time.
After lacking all 12 of his makes an attempt from the sphere and looking out like a shadow of himself within the second half of Recreation 4, Embiid got here out firing. He made eight consecutive pictures to begin the competition, scoring 17 factors within the first quarter to match his whole from the sport prior.
Embiid was a drive within the first half, backing down defenders down low, preventing by means of double groups and sinking fadeaway jumpers on the offensive finish, all of the whereas locking down the paint defensively. By the point the halftime buzzer sounded, he was up to 24 factors and 10 rebounds already.
Although the efficiency was spoiled by a pair of missed free throws within the midst of the Sixers collapse down the stretch, Embiid completed with 39 factors, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks.
On the opposing facet, Young continued to present why he’s an rising famous person. He completed the night time with 39 factors, seven assists and three steals, marking the fifth time he has scored no less than 30 factors this postseason—all of which got here on the street.
The 76ers’ season is in jeopardy
The significance of Recreation 5 within the NBA playoffs can’t be overstated. Traditionally, in sequence tied 2–2, the winner of the fifth sport has superior to the following spherical 82% of the time.
The Sixers had a 26-point lead and residential courtroom benefit, the prospect to safe such an important sport absolutely inside their grasp. But it surely slipped away. And now their season is prone to doing the identical.
“We obtained too comfy,” stated guard Ben Simmons. “We didn’t play the way in which we needs to be taking part in.”
The 2 squads will meet for Recreation 6 in Atlanta Friday night time. If the Hawks pull off the closeout victory, will probably be the second time in as many seasons that the highest seeded workforce within the Japanese Convention has been knocked off by the fifth-seed within the second spherical.
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