- Joel Embiid scored 40 points while Shake Milton added 14 points in 14 minutes as the Sixers tie their series against the Atlanta Hawks.
- Milton’s play helped the Sixers go from one-point down to 19 points up during an 8-minute span from the third to fourth quarters.
- The Sixers head to Game 3 in Atlanta as two-point betting favorites.
The Philadelphia 76ers have evened their series with the Atlanta Hawks at one win apiece.
Philly entered Tuesday’s game down 0-1 in the series after Trae Young and the Hawks ambushed them in Game 1. The Sixers built a huge lead early but the Hawks came back and took the lead in the third despite a herculean game from Joel Embiid. With Atlanta threatening to sweep the Philly leg, Doc Rivers turned to an unlikely hero to deliver the goods.
The Sixers now head to Friday’s Game 3 in Atlanta as two-point betting favorites at SportsBetting.ag. Philadelphia is also a -220 odds on favorite to win the series although the Hawks now have the home court advantage after stealing Game 1.
Embiid’s Playoff Career-High
🏀 FINAL SCORE THREAD 🏀
Tobias Harris: 22 PTS
Seth Curry: 21 PTS
Shake Milton: 14 PTS (all in 2nd half) pic.twitter.com/MGmXiA7nNV
— NBA (@NBA) June 9, 2021
Embiid followed up his 39-point game in a losing effort in Game 1 with a playoff career-high 40 points on Tuesday night. The Process shot 13-25 from the field and made 12 of 16 foul shots aside from 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block in 35 minutes of action.
Philadelphia also got big games from Tobias Harris and Seth Curry. Harris shot 12-19 from the floor for 22 points while Curry made 5 of 6 three-pointers and finished with 21 points.
Harris and Curry made up for a subpar statistical game from Ben Simmons who only had four points on three shots while concentrating on defending Trae Young. Young finished the game with 21 points but he was 6-16 from the floor and 1-7 from deep after torching the Sixers for 35 points and 10 assists in Game 1.
But more than the Sixers starters, it was the play of reserve player Shake Milton that was the difference in the game. The Hawks bench had outscored the Sixers reserves 37-0 midway in the third quarter of Game 2. Then Doc Rivers inserted Shake Milton and that move proved to be a stroke of genius as the Sixers’ reserve guard would take over the game.
14 Points in 8 Minutes
Shake Milton dropped 14 points in eight minutes 👀pic.twitter.com/swt45AAd7I
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 9, 2021
Milton ended an 8-0 Hawks run with a step back three-pointer with still plenty of time left on the Sixers’ shot clock to give the Sixers back the lead at 82-80. He then ended the third quarter with a buzzer-beating triple that gave the Sixers a seven-point lead to begin the fourth. Milton didn’t stop there, he was just getting started.
He opened the fourth quarter with an alley-oop to Dwight Howard as the Sixers took a nine-point lead. On the next play, he drilled a 20-footer that extended their lead to double digits. Three plays later Milton’s 27-foot three-point basket gave Philly a 102-84 lead that finally broke the Hawks’ spirit.
Milton would finish the game with 14 points on 5-8 shooting, including 4-5 from three-point distance. He was a +15 in the game, the 2nd highest +/- in under 15 minutes by a Sixers player in a playoff game since 1997.
He played in a total of 14 minutes but it was during that eight minute period between the third and fourth quarters where he scored all his points and where the Sixers turned a one-point deficit to a 19-point advantage at 107-88.