The Atlanta Hawks went flat in the fourth quarter and the Philadelphia 76ers won 118-102 to tie the NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series to one win per side, thanks to an offensive overflow from Cameroonian Joel Embiid.
Embiid finished the day with 40 points and 13 rebounds, seconded by Tobias Harris with 22 points and Seth Curry with 21 cards, while Shake Milton finished with 14 points off the bench.
Australian Ben Simmons was limited on offense with just four points, three sacks and seven assists.
The Sixers, top seeds in the East, did not take long to show themselves as such and had a spectacular fourth quarter by winning it 27-18.
For the fifth-seeded Hawks in the area, they had 21 points each from Trae Young (11 assists as well) and Italian Danilo Gallinari, who also grabbed nine rebounds off the bench.
Game 3 of this best-of-seven series will be Friday in Atlanta.
The Cameroonian center was surely disappointed not to be named the best player of the regular season (MVP), ahead of Serbian Nikola Jokic (Denver), who was finally honored with the scroll.
But that didn’t bother him in the least on the court at the Wells Fargo Center, where fans have been chanting “MVP!” of consolation, as he fully dominated the offense.
He was not at all unworthy in Game 1 unlike some of his teammates, but again he set an example in terms of combativeness, they all did the same this time.
Like Shake Milton, who caught fire at the end of the third quarter with a shot from a distance and went to the small break with a 91-84 advantage.
Philadelphia started the fourth quarter with a bang in that span, leading 20-4 after just five minutes of play, thanks in particular to Harris and Curry, who were very on point from long range.
In the first half they were very effective for the Hawks the canastero Young, who was immense in Game 1 scoring 35 points. This time, he was limited to 21 units and 11 serves for scoring. He was very pressured by the good defense of Simmons.
The 76ers were finally able to find the right settings and were able to develop their game. It remains to be seen how the Hawks will react on Friday night at their home for Game 3. (GG) (AFP)