The Philadelphia 76ers have re-registered against the Atlanta Hawks with a 118-102 win in Game 2 of the Conference Semifinals. Joel Embiid is the dominant figure, but in the end he has an unexpected helper.
Embiid, who was named second in the MVP election before the game, dominated the game with 40 points (13/25 FG, 12/16 FT) and 13 rebounds, but this time got more support than in game 1. Tobias Harris ( 22) was particularly strong in the first half, similar to Seth Curry (21, 5/6 threesome). The X-factor in the second half was Shake Milton, who was only brought on for the first time at the end of the third quarter and scored a quick 14 points (5/8 FG) that put the game out of reach.
On the other hand, Trae Young (21, 6/16, 11 assists, 4 turns) did not come into the game as strongly as last, but ended the game as a shared guest top scorer with Danilo Gallinari. Kevin Huerter (20) was also strong, while Bogdan Bogdanovic (14, 6/16) searched for his litter for a long time. With the hosts increasing defensive pressure, the Hawks had some problems.
Both teams started with the same starting fives as in Game 1, but this time Doc Rivers changed his coverage and had Simmons defend directly against Young. This measure also helped the Sixers get off to a much more serious start, which quickly made the audience at the Wells Fargo Center frenetic.
Sixers get off to a dream start in the first quarter
Harris in particular started brilliantly with 12 points and after a three from Green Philly was already in the middle of the first quarter with a 23: 6 lead. It was not until the bankers Huerter and Gallinari gave the Hawks a little offensive rhythm, so that they could at least make up some ground by the end of the quarter. 33:20 for Philly.
In the second quarter, the Sixers offense came to a standstill without Embiid. Atlanta had Gallinari, who reared up further, after free throws from the Italian there were only 4 points difference. Embiid returned and received a poster dunk from Capela, but promptly answered it on the other side with pure power.
We got 11 points again, and shortly before the break it got heated: Embiid fought with Gallinari and risked expulsionThe Cameroonian was well served with double technicals. After another Gallo threesome, Philly went into the break with only 57:55.
Shake Milton explodes for the Sixers in the second half
The second half started with strong sixers minutes, Curry scored 5 points through Jumper and Embiid took his team down to 10 points with a multitude of impressive moves. Huerter breathed life into the Hawks again, then Bogdanovic hit his first three, which was immediately followed by the second. On the free-throw line, Young put his team first at 2:41 on the clock, then it was Philly’s turn again. After four Embiid free throws in the final minute, Milton created a 91-84 lead with a buzzerbeater three.
And it went on like this – without Embiid! A lineup of Harris and four bankers went wild, Milton hit another pull-up threesome and led Philly to an 11-0 run to start the quarter. The lead even grew to 20 points. Atlanta reacted again with a small ball lineup for more firepower, and Hack-A-Simmons was also used. It didn’t get tight at the back, but the Hawks didn’t have the luck of the litter that day.
The most important statistics
Philadelphia 76ers (1) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5) 118:102 (BOXSCORE), Serie: 1-1
- It was a curious game: Philly was extremely dominant with his starting five, in particular the minutes with Embiid went clearly to the hosts at half time, as is so often the case (+16 in a 2-point game). But hardly anything worked without him, the bank points at break spoke volumes: The Hawks had 32 points at this point, the Sixers not a single one. It wasn’t until the end of the third quarter that the home bank thawed thanks to Milton – and was even better in the second half (26:17).
- Overall, the Sixers performed very differently than in Game 1: The zone was constantly attacked and played with high concentration. 24 zone points and only 1 loss of the ball were recorded after twelve minutes, both outstanding values. In the second quarter there were 6 ball losses, but then the focus fit again: In the end there were “only” 52 points in the paint, but the Sixers did not make a turnover in the entire second half! There were also strong 29 assists.
- Philly also put more pressure on defensively than in Game 1 and plowed Young throughout the game with his best defenders Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle. The guests therefore never got into such a strong rhythm offensively, even if they did not show a bad game. 20 assists were compared to 17 turnovers, and the transition defense was often wrong. Phily scored 28 points from the Hawks ball losses.
- Another unexpected advantage: The Sixers hit 12/26 of their threes, the Hawks 11/30.
The star of the game: Joel Embiid
This game once again impressively demonstrated the two-way dominance and the incredible arsenal of the runner-up in the MVP election. Embiid was actually well defended by Capela and regularly made him look old. It was the first 40-point game by a Sixers player in the playoffs since Allen Iverson (2003). And yet: Sixers fans will probably remember this game as the “Shake Game”.
The flop of the game: John Collins
In game 1 he was still one of the strongest Hawks with 21 points, in this game there was little to be seen of the explosive Big Man. Only got 8 points (4/11) and 10 rebounds, in the end he also fouled. Since Philly was better prepared for Young’s praises on him and Capela this time around, he had little influence on the game.
The scene of the game
Almost exactly three-quarters of the time, the Sixers got nothing at all from their bank, apart from good Thybulle defense. And then everything suddenly happened at Milton. His buzzerbeater with the sound of the siren from the third quarter was only an initial spark for an outstanding heat check.
Sixers vs. Hawks: the series at a glance
|1||6. June||19 o’clock||Sixers||Hawks||124:128|