Tonight, the Sixers lost to the Hawks in Atlanta, 103-100. With tonight’s result, the series evened at 2-2.
For the Sixers, the loss was due largely to an uncharacteristically poor offensive performance from Joel Embiid. Embiid was 4/20 from the field on the night and a staggering 0/12 after halftime. Dealing with the big man’s torn meniscus is obviously a night-to-night journey for the Sixers in the playoffs, as Embiid was visibly laboring and had no lift at all throughout the game. With less than ten seconds left and down one, Embiid whiffed on a potential go-ahead layup. It was just a brutal performance from Embiid that proved too difficult to overcome.
Joel’s supporting cast shouldn’t be off the hook for culpability in tonight’s loss, however. Tobias Harris was scoreless in the fourth quarter after scoring 20 points in the first three.
Ben Simmons scored 11 points on 5/10 shooting, yet hit only 1 of the 5 free throws he attempted in the game. He did grab 12 rebounds and dish 9 assists to 0 turnovers.
Seth Curry rimmed out what could’ve been a game-tying three as the final buzzer sounded, but he had a very solid night on offense, going 7/11 from the field and 3/7 from three. The Hawks were able to score on him a number of times with Bogdan Bogdanovic — the matchup that fell to Curry as Danny Green sat out with an injured calf.
Furkan Korkmaz filled in for Green in the starting lineup, and he didn’t exactly light the world on fire. He went 4/9 from the field and 2/5 from three, but finished a game-low -13 in 25 minutes.
For the Hawks, Trae Young struggled again versus the Sixers’ defense, needing 26 shots to score 25 points.
John Collins made an imprint on the game — especially in the second half — corralling 12 rebounds, 5 of them offensive.
The real shame of this loss (and game 1, for that matter) for the Sixers is that the tenuous state of Embiid’s health underlines the importance of keeping these rounds as brief as possible. Now, the series will go at least 6 games, and the Sixers will need every bit of Joel to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Philly needs to have a short memory (and pray to the injury gods for a rejuvenated Embiid) for the two teams are back in action on Wednesday night in Philadelphia for game 5.