Seth Curry, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris saved the Philadelphia 76ers’ season.
Curry scored 12 points on Philadelphia’s 14-0 run to start the third quarter, delivering the Sixers their first lead of Friday’s Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks. They did not relinquish that edge, as Curry finished with 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting in a 104-99 victory that tied their Eastern Conference semifinals series.
Game 7 is scheduled for Sunday in Philadelphia at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.
The Hawks led by as many as 12 points in a 29-point first quarter, and one-time All-Star point guard Trae Young collected 20 of his 34 points and seven of his 12 assists by halftime of their close-out opportunity.
Curry, Maxey and Harris kept the Sixers afloat. They combined for 29 points on 12-for-23 shooting in the first half, while their Philadelphia teammates — including All-NBA talents Joel Emiid and Ben Simmons — totaled 18 points on 8-for-28 shooting at the break. The Sixers managed to stay within 51-47 after two quarters, despite shooting 41% from the field, 31% from 3-point range and 1 for 3 at the free-throw line.
Simmons found himself in foul trouble throughout the game. He was -15 in 8:43 of action in the first half.
Then came the onslaught. The Sixers converted seven of their 11 3-point attempts in the third, four from Curry’s flame-throwing fingertips, and took their own own double-digit lead three minutes after halftime.
Embiid, playing on a partially torn right lateral meniscus, finished with 22 points on 9-for-24 shooting and TK rebounds. Simmons, presumably healthy, scored six points (2-6 FG, 0-0 3P, 2-4 FT) in a must-win game. Atlanta’s Hack-a-Ben strategy turned Simmons into a defensive sub once the game tightened in the fourth.
The Hawks lost Bogdan Bogdanovic to knee soreness early in the final quarter, but Young’s shot clock-beating off-balance 3-pointer with 1:58 remaining cut their deficit to 94-93. Embiid scored the game’s next three points to push Philadelphia’s lead back to two possessions, and it became a free-throw contest. The Maxey and Harris made seven of their eight attempts from the line to seal the win in the final 27.2 seconds.
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