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Hawks, down 26, blow by Sixers

by The Associated. Press | June 17, 2021 at 2:23 a.m.
Trae Young (11) of the Atlanta Hawks shoots over Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night in Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series. Young finished with 39 as the Hawks won to take a 3-2 lead in the series. (AP/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA -- Trae Young ran off the court clapping and yapping toward the few Hawks fans that braved the Philly crowd and were rewarded with a comeback victory for the ages.

"I was just showing love to the ATL fans that showed up," Young said, "and we're going to need them to show up Friday for us."

There will be a Game 6 in the Eastern Conference semifinals with the upstart Hawks -- not top-seeded Joel Embiid and the Sixers -- playing for a spot in the next round.

"If you don't believe, you got to believe now," Hawks Coach Nate McMillan said.

How could they not? Atlanta fans can roll off a lengthy list of infamous collapses in its collective sports history.

Here was a comeback to remember.

Young was fouled on a three-pointer and hit all three free throws with 1:26 left to cap a 26-point rally and send Atlanta on its way to a 109-106 victory Wednesday night in Game 5.

The Hawks won in Philadelphia for the second time in the series and can advance to the conference final for the first time since 2015 with a victory Friday night in Atlanta.

"We knew what we had to do and we had to do it in a hurry. No quit," McMillian said.

Young scored 39 points and added to a postseason where he has become a star.

"We keep fighting no matter what the score is. I'm proud of this team," Young said. "We have confidence in each other."

Embiid scored 17 points in an 8-for-8 first quarter and seemingly had the Sixers on their way toward a romp with a 26-point lead in the first half. They still led 87-69 at the end of the third before they collapsed.

Embiid scored 39 points and Seth Curry had 36, but they were the only two Sixers to score a field goal in the second half.

The Hawks also outscored them 40-19 in the fourth on 16-of-22 shooting.

"We got too comfortable," Sixers guard Ben Simmons said. "We didn't play the way we should be playing."

Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari and Young opened the fourth on a huge run against the Sixers' second unit and kept attacking once 76ers Coach Doc Rivers was forced to put the starters in and save the lead.

Gallinari hit a three that made it 87-76, and Embiid sprang from his cool down seat behind the basket and ran to the scorer's table to check back in the game. He instantly scored and pushed the lead back to 13.

The big shots kept coming for the Hawks -- Williams buried a three that made it an 11-point game -- and Young kept hitting his floaters and his fouls shots.

Williams and Young each scored 13 points in the fourth.

"It'll be one of those things where I'll look back when he's a Hall of Famer, he's an established superstar in this league, and I can say I was part of that process and I worked with this gentleman," Williams said.

Simmons missed free throw after free throw much as he has for most of the postseason that sped up Atlanta's comeback.

Young's floater brought them within two, then he leaned into a three-pointer and was fouled by Matisse Thybulle. Young, taunted all series by Sixers fans, calmly stepped to the line and buried all three shots to put the Hawks up 105-104.

The Hawks led by 26 points in a Game 1 victory and won Game 4 at home Monday.

Gallinari scored 16 points, Williams had 15 points, and John Collins had 19 points and 11 rebounds.

"We found a hot hand in Lou and found a rotation that works and stayed with it," McMillan said. "They showed their true character."

Simmons was 4 for 14 from the free-throw line, and Embiid missed two big ones down the stretch. Simmons missed two with the Sixers up 104-96 and the Hawks came right down and scored. He is 22 for 66 from the line in the playoffs (33%).

"When Ben makes them, we get to leave him in," Rivers said. "When he doesn't, we can't. That's just the way it is."

Simmons said his free throw woes are "mental."

Embiid is basically playing on one good leg as he plays through torn cartilage in his right knee. The injury got the best of him in Game 4. He couldn't get any lift in his shots -- notable in a blown layup late that should have won the game -- and his 0-fer in the second half left Philly wondering how hard he could go in Game 5.

He went hard, but it wasn't enough. And the Sixers will need to force Game 7 if they want to play at home again.

"We'll be back here for Game 7," Rivers said. "I believe that."

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, left, and Bogdan Bogdanovic embrace after the Hawks won Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, left, and Bogdan Bogdanovic embrace after the Hawks won Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' players walk to the bench during a timeout during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' players walk to the bench during a timeout during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, right, is fouled by Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, right, is fouled by Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Clint Capela, left, dunks the ball past Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Clint Capela, left, dunks the ball past Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after making a basket during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after making a basket during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Bogdan Bogdanovic, center, goes up for a shot between Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris, left, and Seth Curry during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Bogdan Bogdanovic, center, goes up for a shot between Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris, left, and Seth Curry during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after making a three-pointer during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after making a three-pointer during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, right, and Philadelphia 76ers' Furkan Korkmaz chase down a loose ball during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, right, and Philadelphia 76ers' Furkan Korkmaz chase down a loose ball during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, right, makes a point to Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, right, makes a point to Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

CLIPPERS 119, JAZZ 111

SALT LAKE CITY -- Kawhi Leonard's right knee is now a major concern for the Los Angeles Clippers.

The All-NBA forward sat out Los Angeles' Game 5 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night with what the Clippers are calling a sprain. A person with knowledge of the matter said Leonard will need more testing and evaluation, raising questions about his availability going forward.

The structural integrity of Leonard's knee has yet to be fully determined, the person said, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not offered any specific diagnosis other than sprain.

"He's a little down because he wants to be here," Clippers Coach Tyronn Lue said before the game . "But that's part of the game. He understands that. He wants to be there for his teammates. We understand what's going on right now, so he's going to cheer us from afar and we'll get back on to it tomorrow."

Paul George scored 37 points Wednesday night to help the Clippers take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series. Game 6 is Friday in Los Angeles. Game 7, if necessary, is back in Salt Lake City on Sunday.

At a glance

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES

Atlanta 109, Philadelphia 106

Atlanta leads series 3-2.

LA Clippers 119, Utah 111

Los Angeles leads series 3-2.

TODAY’S GAME All times Central

Brooklyn at Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m.

Brooklyn leads series 3-2.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, center, dunks over Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors, right, as guard Donovan Mitchell watches during the first half in Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, center, dunks over Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors, right, as guard Donovan Mitchell watches during the first half in Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Print Headline: Hawks, down 26, blow by Sixers

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