Despite multiple injury scares from Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers were able on Friday night to eek out a 127-111 win over the Atlanta Hawks to go up 2-1 in their second-round series. Embiid led the way with 27 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, and after outscoring Atlanta by eight in the first period, the Sixers never looked back.
On the Hawks’ side, Trae Young continued his aggressive and balanced play, scoring 28 to go along with eight assists. The Hawks also got a boost from John Collins, who exploited Philadelphia inside for 23 points on 10-for-14 shooting.
Four minutes into the game, starting shooting guard Danny Green left the game for Philadelphia with what the team called a right calf strain, and did not return. Embiid took a scary fall in the third quarter as well, appearing to land on his right hip and leg, near where he suffered a torn meniscus earlier in the playoffs.
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After Green started Game 1 guarding Young, the Sixers’ adjustment to have Ben Simmons or Matisse Thybulle check the Hawks’ guard full-time has paid dividends. Thybulle had two steals in just 17 minutes in the game, rewarding Doc Rivers for going back to him.
The teams will stay in Atlanta for Game 4, but while Philly has a better answer for Young than they did early in the series, the Hawks have still yet to figure out how to stop Embiid in any real way.