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Sixers survive in Atlanta and force Game 7 in NBA playoffs

Sixers survive in Atlanta and force Game 7 in NBA playoffs

With the threat of elimination, the Philadelphia 76ers survived the Atlanta Hawks and the recital of Trae Young (34 points) to force a seventh and final game in this semifinal of the Eastern Conference of the NBA.

The Sixers, ranked No. 1 in the East in the regular season, prevailed 104-99 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta and will now have the home court advantage in Sunday’s decisive game.

The other East semi-final, between the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets, will also be decided in a seventh game on Saturday.

Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia star, had 22 points and 13 rebounds in a tense game in which he had several clashes with Hawks power forward John Collins.

The guard Seth Curry (24 points and 6 triples) returned to have a saving performance for the Sixers before a new shipwreck of the Australian Ben Simmons (6 points).

Trae Young, who continues to amaze in the early playoffs of his career, led the Hawks to a tight finish with a career tally of 34 points, 5 triples and 11 assists.

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«This team shoots so well that they are never out of the game. No advantage is certain with them, ”Sixers manager Doc Rivers said.

The Hawks, fifth classified in the regular phase, jumped onto the court determined to settle the tie in front of their audience and not give their rival one last life.

The early stages of the game weren’t too encouraging for Philadelphia, which had just lost in Game 5 with a complete collapse in the second half, in which it trailed a 26-point lead on its court.

Young Trae Young again wreaked havoc with his speed and shooting range, with 3s even from the center logo.

At 22, the point guard continues to star in some dazzling first playoffs of his career with an average of 30.3 points and 11.0 assists.

None of the defenders Doc Rivers put in was able to stop Young, including Australian Ben Simmons, whose performance in this series has been a complete flop for a player who was renewed by Philadelphia in 2019 for five years and $ 170 million.

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– High tension on the track –

The Sixers were supported by the contributions of Seth Curry, Tobias Harris (24 points) and substitute Tyrese Maxley (16), their great agitator from the bench, while Young added 20 points and 7 assists at halftime for the Hawks to dominate by four points (51-47).

At the restart, peering into elimination, the Sixers found oxygen in Seth Curry, who scored or assisted on all points of a 14-0 run.

Warriors superstar Stephen Curry enjoyed in the stands watching his younger brother pepper the Hawks with 4 triples and a total of 14 points in the third quarter to give the Sixers a slight lead to the final quarter.

Embiid, trying to sentence the match in advance, faced John Collins in an action in which both received technical fouls.

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The Cameroonian, who on another play had received a strong blow from Collins, committed an offensive foul on a rebound. With both of them on the ground, Collins pushed Embiid away and Embiid scrambled and cornered him into the stands before they were separated.

The Sixers, who were playing the elimination and a possible end of the project around Embiid and Simmons, saw Atlanta force a tight finish thanks to Young’s success, who lit the stands with an unbalanced triple that put the Hawks to a single point away with two minutes to play.

Unlike the previous games, the Sixers kept their cool and sealed the victory against the Hawks who lost Bogdan Bogdanovic (7 points), retired due to problems in his right knee.

With this victory the Sixers for the moment avoided their third elimination in the last four years in a conference semifinal, a round they have not surpassed since 2001. (AFP)

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