Hawks and Sixers will play a Game 7 after Atlanta drops Game 6 104-99

The Atlanta Hawks remain 48 minutes away from the Eastern Conference Finals, and the Philadelphia 76ers are what stands in their way after a 104-99 loss.

Even with Trae Young’s 34 points and 12 assists, free throw line woes struck the Hawks, who didn’t trail in the game until 15 seconds into the second half, struggling to buy shots late.

Atlanta seemed perplexed by the 76ers’, but head coach Nate McMillan noted that it wasn’t the first time his team faced situations like tonight in the series.

“I thought defensively they got after us, and we started on our heels. It felt like the start of the last three games,” McMillan said. They came out aggressive defensively, and we weren’t able to get anything, and offensively we were never able to get that rhythm.”

Young, who is in the midst of a historic playoff debut stretch, is focused on the next game and winning at all costs. 

“We have to go in there with the right mindset… Go in there and lock-in. We have to go in there like it is a business trip,” Young said. 

Kevin Huerter played an immense role in the first half, where he scored 15 of his 17 points for the game. However, he also acknowledged that the team hasn’t been their usual selves lately.

“I missed a couple of the shots in the second half I made in the first half. It felt like a game we didn’t shoot well as a team,” Huerter said. “Feels like we haven’t shot well since game one. We have to get that rhythm back.”

Danilo Gallinari ignited the Hawks bench with 16 points in another efficient night on 5-10 from the field.

For the 76ers, Seth Curry’s 24 points led the way. He came out of halftime and scored 14 in the third quarter, individually carrying Philly in the second half, with six threes.

Joel Embiid finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds but needed 24 shots and struggled to get to the free-throw line. 

Off the bench, Tyrese Maxey scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds. With Ben Simmons stuck in foul trouble all game and only playing 25 minutes, the rookie stepped up and, along with Curry, kept the team afloat. 

Although the result is a loss, Atlanta is in a prime position to advance to the East Finals thanks to their road wins and playing well in a hostile environment. 

“We put ourselves in position to play a game seven. It’s win or go home. It’s a must-win situation for us,” McMillan said. 


What to watch for in Game 7


Does Trae Young get more help from the Hawks supporting cast?

The Hawks bench only scored 20 of the team’s 99 points, and 16 came from Gallinari. It will take a collective unit to punch the ticket for Atlanta to advance to the East Finals. Lou Williams has to play better after a scoreless effort Friday and can provide spurts on any given night––which he has done in this series. 

“The first half, the bench struggled to put the ball in the basket. And [in] the second half, they did. The pressure from Philly bothered us at times, and we couldn’t get a good look. They turned it up,” McMillan said. 


Can Atlanta Apply the same defensive pressure on Embiid in Game 7? 

The Hawks did a spectacular job on Embiid, limiting him to 9-24 from the floor and forcing eight turnovers. Atlanta must continue the same defensive game plan and force him into tough shots and turnovers to have a chance in Game 7. 


Sunday’s Game 7 tips off at 8 p.m. EST from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.