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Embiid, Milton help 76ers even series with Hawks

by Jeremy Muck | June 9, 2021 at 2:30 a.m.
Philadelphia 76ers' Shake Milton, left, goes up for a shot against Atlanta Hawks' Kevin Huerter, center, and Solomon Hill during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA -- Joel Embiid bounded on the court and pointed at Shake Milton following an electrifying stretch that might have saved Philadelphia's season and yelled, "I told you be ready!"

Sure enough, Embiid -- who had a sideline confrontation last season with Milton -- rallied the forgotten guard with a pregame pep talk.

"For some reason," Embiid said, "I felt like he was going to be needed."

Milton buried a 32-footer and scored 14 points, and Embiid had a playoff-best 40 points and 13 rebounds to lead the 76ers past the Atlanta Hawks 118-102 in Game 2 on Tuesday night and even the NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series at 1-1.

Game 3 is Friday in Atlanta.

"It really shows what the playoffs is about," 76ers forward Tobias Harris said. "You never know who's going to be able to step up."

Milton took his turn in Game 2.

Milton shined at times as a sixth man this season before he fell out of favor and slogged through an awful first round against Washington (3.4 points per game).

With the reserves failing Philly for the second consecutive game against the Hawks -- the Sixers had zero bench points at the half -- Coach Doc Rivers gave Milton a shot in the third.

The Sixers squandered a 21-point lead and Trae Young hit a pair of free throws in the third for Atlanta's first lead, 80-79.

Then came Shake.

Milton did not play in the first half but promptly buried a quick three-pointer to make it 82-80 for Philadelphia's first bench points in 34 minutes. He buried a long-distance three-pointer at the horn that sent the Sixers into the fourth quarter with a 91-84 lead and sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy. He kept it going with a jumper early in the fourth that made it 95-84.

Rivers kept the faith and Milton rattled the Hawks and helped the Sixers roll to a 14-0 run that blew the game open and they avoided a second loss at home.

"He prepared himself and he believed he would get another shot and he got it," Rivers said.

Milton's 14 minutes were the most valuable of Game 2.

Embiid proved his value all season.

Playing with a cartilage tear in his right knee, Embiid carried the Sixers early not long after he found out he was runner-up in NBA MVP voting. Embiid, Tobias Harris and Seth Curry steadied the top-seeded Sixers a game after they fell behind by 26 and were stunned in a Game 1 defeat.

Young scored 21 points for the Hawks, Danilo Gallinari scored 21 and Kevin Huerter had 20.

"Whenever we got close we just turned the ball over or gave up a basket," Hawks Coach Nate McMillan said. "We didn't really do a good job of controlling or establishing our defense all night long."

ATLANTA (102)

Collins 4-11 0-0 8, S.Hill 0-2 0-0 0, Capela 5-7 0-0 10, Bogdanovic 6-16 0-0 14, Young 6-16 8-9 21, Gallinari 7-15 2-2 21, Fernando 0-0 0-0 0, Knight 1-1 0-2 2, Okongwu 0-1 0-0 0, Huerter 8-10 1-1 20, Mays 0-0 0-0 0, Snell 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 1-3 4-4 6. Totals 38-83 15-18 102.

PHILADELPHIA (118)

Green 2-6 0-0 5, Harris 11-19 0-0 22, Embiid 13-25 12-16 40, Curry 8-13 0-1 21, Simmons 2-3 0-2 4, Scott 0-0 0-0 0, Howard 2-2 2-2 6, Korkmaz 0-3 0-0 0, Milton 5-8 0-0 14, Thybulle 1-2 0-1 2, G.Hill 2-4 0-0 4, Maxey 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 46-87 14-22 118.

Atlanta20352918--102

Philadelphia33243427--118

3-Point Goals--Atlanta 11-30 (Gallinari 5-9, Huerter 3-5, Bogdanovic 2-6, Young 1-7, S.Hill 0-2), Philadelphia 12-26 (Curry 5-6, Milton 4-5, Embiid 2-5, Green 1-5, Korkmaz 0-2). Fouled Out--Atlanta 1 (Collins), Philadelphia None. Rebounds--Atlanta 45 (Collins 10), Philadelphia 37 (Embiid 13). Assists--Atlanta 20 (Young 11), Philadelphia 29 (Green 8). Total Fouls--Atlanta 21, Philadelphia 18. Attendance--18,624 (20,478)

JAZZ 112, CLIPPERS 109

SALT LAKE CITY -- Donovan Mitchell scored 45 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series Tuesday night.

Mitchell did most of his work in the second half, scoring 32 points to rally the Jazz from a double-digit deficit. Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 18 points apiece. Mitchell and Clarkson combined for 12 three-pointers.

Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points to lead Los Angeles. Paul George chipped in 20 points and 11 rebounds. Luke Kennard added 18 points while making a team-high four three-pointers.

Utah and Los Angeles will play Game 2 on Thursday in Salt Lake City.

LA CLIPPERS (109)

Leonard 9-19 4-4 23, Morris Sr. 4-14 0-0 9, Batum 2-4 0-0 6, George 4-17 9-10 20, Jackson 3-6 0-0 9, Mann 1-2 0-0 2, Cousins 2-3 1-1 6, Zubac 3-5 5-7 11, Beverley 0-3 0-0 0, Kennard 7-9 0-0 18, Rondo 1-3 2-2 5. Totals 36-85 21-24 109.

UTAH (112)

Bogdanovic 6-14 3-3 18, O'Neale 2-5 4-4 8, Gobert 2-6 6-9 10, Ingles 3-12 1-2 8, Mitchell 16-30 7-8 45, Favors 1-1 0-0 2, Niang 1-4 0-0 3, Oni 0-1 0-0 0, Clarkson 6-18 0-0 18. Totals 37-91 21-26 112.

LA Clippers25351930--109

Utah18293233--112

3-Point Goals--LA Clippers 16-42 (Kennard 4-6, Jackson 3-5, George 3-8, Batum 2-4, Cousins 1-2, Rondo 1-2, Leonard 1-4, Morris Sr. 1-9, Beverley 0-2), Utah 17-50 (Clarkson 6-14, Mitchell 6-15, Bogdanovic 3-6, Niang 1-3, Ingles 1-8, O'Neale 0-3). Fouled Out--LA Clippers 1 (Jackson), Utah None. Rebounds--LA Clippers 42 (George 10), Utah 46 (Gobert 12). Assists--LA Clippers 22 (Rondo 6), Utah 18 (Ingles 7). Total Fouls--LA Clippers 24, Utah 24. Attendance--18,007 (18,306)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) reacts after a foul was called against him during the first half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) reacts after a foul was called against him during the first half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Dwight Howard reacts after making a basket during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Dwight Howard reacts after making a basket during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle reacts after making basket during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle reacts after making basket during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, center, goes up for a shot past Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle, right, during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, center, goes up for a shot past Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle, right, during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Dwight Howard reacts after making a basket during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Dwight Howard reacts after making a basket during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' players watch from the bench during the final seconds of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' players watch from the bench during the final seconds of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, center, goes up for a shot between Philadelphia 76ers' Shake Milton, left, and Joel Embiid during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, center, goes up for a shot between Philadelphia 76ers' Shake Milton, left, and Joel Embiid during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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