Man, Game 4 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks was anything but pretty. While the scoreline wasn’t as bad as the 86-83 stinker between the Nets and Bucks in their Game 3, today’s 103-100 contest still wasn’t pretty.
It feels like the Hawks really escaped today, considering that they shot 37 of 101 (36.6 FG%) from the floor and 12 of 40 from deep (30.0 3P%). They were also down 18 points at one part of the game, and never led by more than 6.
There was even a sequence in the fourth quarter where neither team scored a basket for close to three minutes, with both teams bricking layups, threes, and midrange jumpshots.
Atlanta’s starting backcourt were the guiltiest when it came to bad shots, with Trae Young (25 points, 18 assists) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (22 points, 5 rebounds) combining to shoot 17 of 50 for the game. A horrible clip considering they shot just shy of half the team’s total attempts.
On Philadelphia’s end, Joel Embiid looked labored in the fourth quarter, and it looks like his knee problems are starting to really catch up to him. He barely had any lift in his shot and a lot of his shots were hitting short as he shot 4 of 20 from the field. It’s a testament to his talent and impact that he still scored 17 points (thanks to going 8 of 8 on his free throws) and grabbed 21 rebounds – but he’s clearly not at 100%.
Ben Simmons also finished an assist shy of a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. Tobias Harris chipped in 20 points and Seth Curry had 17.
The Sixers shot better with a 43.5 FG% and 40.7 3P% but just couldn’t hold on for the win. Their last field goal came with 2:44 left in the game, thanks to a three from Furkan Korkmaz, and they didn’t score again until Embiid hit two free throws with 40 seconds left, which were the last points that Philadelphia scored.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to win ugly games in the playoffs. This was a prime example. Atlanta will be happy to tie the series, and they’ll also be happy that they took care of the ball well. They only had 4 turnovers compared to Philadelphia’s 12, and that plus a single additional three-pointer in the final quarter made all the difference.
The Sixers, on the other hand, will not be happy with the game, especially as concern continues to build around Embiid’s knee. Having a 3-1 series advantage would have potentially allowed them to rest him for at least one game, but that is likely no longer a possibility.
The ‘Process’ deserves credit for continuing to play while not 100%, but you’ve got to wonder what toll it’s taking on his body. It also begs the question of whether or not Doc Rivers needs to adjust his offense to get his other guys more shots, as both Harris and Curry were shooting much better than Embiid.