With a towering Joel Embiid and a solid team performance, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Atlanta Hawks 127-111 on the road and took a 2-1 lead in this Eastern conference semifinal.
Joel Embiid, who continues to have physical problems in his right knee, added 27 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 blocks for the Sixers to add their second consecutive win in the series.
Power forward Tobias Harris accompanied him on offense with 22 points and 8 rebounds while Australian Ben Simmons reapplied in defense on Trae Young, the figure of the Hawks, who finished with 28 points and 8 assists, making up his statistics in the last quarter.
“He’s a very talented young man, every night will be different,” Simmons said of Young. “I always go out to defend the best player.”
The crash started with bad news for the Sixers, who lost veteran Danny Green in the fourth minute. The guard, a three-time NBA champion, suffered a calf strain, the extent of which has not yet been released.
Turkey’s Furkan Korkmaz took over from Green with an immediate impact on the court, scoring 11 points with two 3-pointers in the first quarter.
The Sixers cemented their second triumph in the third quarter (34-19), in which the Hawks failed to stop the counterattacks led by Ben Simmons, who added 11 of his 18 points in that period.
With the game on track, Embiid gave another scare with a bad knockdown in defensive action. The 2.13m tall center failed to block Clint Capela and ended up hitting the court sideways but was able to continue in the game.
Both teams will take a breather until Game 4 on Monday, in which the Hawks will try to even the tie before the series returns to Philadelphia. (GG) (AFP)