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The Hawks Overcame An 18-Point Deficit In Game 4 To Tie The Series Against The Sixers

The Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers battled in Game 4 of a second round series on Monday evening. For much of the night, it appeared as if Philadelphia was on track to take a commanding 3-1 advantage, but Atlanta came back from an 18-point first half deficit and held on for the home win, 103-100, evening the series as it returns to Philly.

Out of the gate, the play was ugly on both sides, but the Hawks took a 10-4 advantage. That edge lasted only a brief time, however, with the 76ers answering quickly to take the lead.

Overall, Philadelphia used a 20-4 run to take control as the Hawks struggled mightily to score. Atlanta trailed by as many as 10 points in the opening period, with the home team shooting just 7-of-28 from the floor.

In addition to Philadelphia taking control on the scoreboard, Atlanta also faced potential issues with Trae Young’s health. In the first quarter, Young missed a pair of free throws and, while he stayed in the game, he was sporting a significant wrap while on the bench.

Young returned relatively quickly, but he wasn’t the only prominent injury concern. Joel Embiid left the floor and went to the locker room, missing almost six minutes of game time, but he also returned to action. In fact, Embiid made his usual impact, as his presence helped to stop a mini-run from the Hawks. Philadelphia then scored 12 straight points to take their largest lead of the evening at 55-38 with three minutes remaining in the first half and would get it to 60-42 at one point.

The Hawks did close on a higher note with five points from the Kevin Huerter in the final 35 seconds. Still, Atlanta trailed by 13 points at the break, failing to take advantage of good looks offensively and yielding approximately 1.2 points per possession to the visiting Sixers.

Following a miserable offensive half by any description, Atlanta picked things up early in the third quarter. In short order, that translated into the margin being slashed to just eight points after a three-pointer from Huerter.

Atlanta’s John Collins also came alive in the third quarter, throwing down a trio of highlight-worthy dunks to help the Hawks continue their comeback bid. His energy and production helped to key a 10-2 run that brought the home team within 77-75 in the final minutes of the third quarter.

For an extended stretch, the theme was back-and-forth basketball. Embiid struggled for the Sixers and, as such, Philadelphia’s offense sputtered. At the same time, Collins made a considerable impact and Young controlled the action with his passing, finding Clint Capela for a dunk to take the lead with fewer than six minutes remaining.

All told, the Sixers didn’t score a single point for more than five minutes, but the Hawks weren’t able to run away. Embiid made a pair of free throws at the 3:23 mark, giving Philadelphia the lead, and the Sixers led by as many as four points down the stretch. However, Atlanta kept coming, with Collins generating an offensive rebound and, on the same possession, hitting an enormous three (off a pass from Young) to cut the margin to one.

In the final minute, the Hawks led by one point, with the ball, and they had an opportunity to extend the margin. However, Atlanta turned the ball over with 16.6 seconds remaining, giving the Sixers an opportunity to escape with a win. That opportunity went begging, though, when Embiid missed a point-blank attempt and Ben Simmons was unable to corral the rebound.

Following two free throws by Young, the Sixers had one more chance to tie the game. Despite relatively bizarre defensive resistance, Philadelphia’s Shake Milton elected to swing the ball to Seth Curry and, when his shot drew rim, the Hawks managed to knot the series at 2-2.

It was a gutty performance from the Hawks, overcoming an 18-point deficit. Young scratched and clawed to 25 points despite uneven shooting, and he left his mark with a whopping 18 assists. Collins also changed the energy for the Hawks after halftime, finishing the night 14 points and 12 rebounds.

On the Philadelphia side, Embiid was unable to dominate in the fashion that he did in the first three games. He did secure 21 rebounds, but the All-NBA center missed all 12 of his shot attempts in the second half, finishing 4-of-20 on the night. Curry and Tobias Harris combined for 37 points, but it wasn’t enough.

The series now shifts back to Philadelphia for Game 5 on Wednesday. While the top-seeded Sixers will likely enter that game as betting favorites, all eyes will be on Embiid to see how he responds physically, and the Hawks could garner momentum after a memorable comeback.

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