In Atlanta, 76ers Look to Force Game 7
The 76ers are back in Atlanta, looking to even their Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup with the Hawks Friday, and bring the series back to South Philadelphia.
The Sixers led by as many as 26 in Wednesday’s Game 5, but a late Atlanta push (the Hawks outscored the Sixers, 40-19, in the fourth quarter) gave the Hawks a 109-106 victory, and a 3-2 series lead.
Gathered as a team for a film session in Atlanta Thursday afternoon, Doc Rivers reflected on Game 5 and the road ahead:
“Losses like this sting, and they should. That’s what I told our guys, ‘Yeah, it should hurt.’ And then you get back to film, and you see the things you didn’t do, and you build them back up, and throw them back out there, and they’ll be ready. They have proven to be a very resilient group, so I have no reason to believe they won’t be tomorrow.”
Tobias Harris shared in his head coach’s mindset postgame Wednesday:
“This one is going to hurt. It hurts. But tomorrow we have to put it behind us, find a way to get better, go to Atlanta, and get a win.”
The immediate goal? Force a Game 7 at home.
“Our backs are against the wall right now, and we have to play like it,” Harris said.
Joel Embiid scored 37 points in Game 5 on 12-for-20 shooting, along with 13 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and four blocks. The MVP finalist came out strong, scoring 17 points on 8-for-8 shooting in the first quarter alone.
Seth Curry tallied a playoff career-high 36 points on 13-for-19 shooting and 7-for-12 shooting from deep, plus seven rebounds and two steals.
Furkan Korkmaz, who started in place of Danny Green (right calf strain) in Games 4 and 5, finished with eight points, five rebounds, and an assist Wednesday.
“This is the playoffs - We need to take care of our business,” Korkmaz said. “We just need to finish our job which we started. We’ve got to go out there and play - we need to bring the series back to Philly. That’s all we’ve got to do.”
Friday’s Game 6 tips at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Trae Young led the way for the Hawks once again in Game 5, finishing with a game-high 39 points, plus seven assists and three steals, shooting 17-for-19 from the foul line.
John Collins added a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double, while Danilo Gallinari led the bench 16 points and eight rebounds.
In the Hawks’ pivotal fourth quarter in Game 5, the team shot 72.7% from the field (16-22) and only committed one turnover. The Sixers shot 29.4% from the field (5-17) in the frame.