Atlanta Hawks fall 118-102 on the road to the Philadelphia 76ers as the series is tied 1-1

The Atlanta Hawks lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 118-102 in Game 2 Tuesday night, but they will still head back home with the series tied at one game apiece. 

The Hawks had 17 turnovers and struggled to take care of the ball all night. Trae Young and Kevin Huerter––who came off the bench––each coughed the ball up four times. On the flip side, the two combined for 41 points (Young with 21, Huerter 20) on a combined 14-26 shooting from the field. 

Young also added 11 assists.

Danilo Gallinari added 21 points off the bench, including a brilliant first-half with 15. After struggling in the first few games against the New York Knicks in the first round, he’s beginning to space the floor better and providing a reliable scoring option for Nate McMillan

The strong play from the bench unit can’t be understated as they helped get the Hawks back in the game in the 2nd quarter thanks to a 13-2 run. The second unit in this game scored 49 points and has been crucial to the success of Atlanta in this series. 

The 76ers flipped this script in this game, starting the game on a 23-6 run and forcing Young to beat Defensive Player of the Year finalist Ben Simmons. It made a difference as Philly was able to build an early double-digit lead. 

Joel Embiid dominated the game once again as the interior defense didn’t have any answers for him. He finished with 40 points and 12 rebounds after a 39-points, 13-rebound game on Sunday and has his entire offensive repertoire on display.

Tobias Harris stepped up for Philly with a solid all-around game of 22 points (12 in the first quarter), six rebounds and four assists.

Seth Curry produced another efficient shooting night with 21 points on 8-13 shooting, including five threes.

Shake Milton was brilliant off the bench for the 76ers. He finished with 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, which contributed to a 30-9 run spanning the second half. 

So, what can people look for in Game 3?

A reliable, fluid Hawks bench unit

The bench has been excellent through two games. Games 1 and 2 in Philadelphia were both kind to Huerter and Gallinari, leading Atlanta’s bench in scoring. Along with them, Atlanta will need its bench to continue its hot streak if they want to win game 3. 

The continued dominance of Joel Embiid

He continues to wreak havoc on the offensive end and already has 79 points in this series in just two games. He shot 16 free throws in Game 2 and made 12 of them. Atlanta’s interior defense has to do a better job sending doubles towards Embiid––who has been primarily guarded by Clint Capela––and making his life difficult on offense. 

Trae Young’s subpar shooting percentages

The young star evidently struggled to last night against the smothering defense of Simmons. Young didn’t hit double-figure scoring until the second half, an uncommon theme throughout his career. If McMillan can deploy more screens and rolls and force switches on defense, it could open up Young to work on offense without being pestered.