NBA

NBA Playoffs 2021: Philadelphia 76ers survive scare to force Game 7 against Atlanta Hawks

The No. 1 seed in the East is still alive.

Trailing for the entire first half, the Philadelphia 76ers used some hot shooting in the third quarter to spark a 104-99 win in Game 6.

The result forces a Game 7 back in Philadelphia, with a spot in the Conference Finals on the line.

Maxey steps up for Simmons

It's been a tough series for Ben Simmons. Despite some effective defence on Trae Young at stages, the offensive end of the ball has once again been the talking point.

Simmons would play just 25 minutes in Game 6 after being hampered by foul trouble in the first half and then being benched to avoid getting put on the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

Tallying just six points, nine rebounds and five assists, the Australian finished 2-for-6 from the field and 2-for-4 from the stripe.

Rookie guard Tyrese Maxey filled the void, logging 29 minutes off the bench and scoring 16 points and seven assists on 5-for-12 shooting.

Tasked with the duty of guarding Young in key moments on defence and running offence on the other end, the contributions of the first year guard were immense. Now the Sixers need to find a way for Simmons to be impactful in Game 7.

Seth stays hot

You could easily make the case that Seth Curry has been the Sixers best player in this series.

The sharpshooter was at it again in this one, pouring in 24 points on 6-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

Trailing 51-47 at the half, the Sixers had never taken the lead, until a Curry explosion to start the third not only gave them the lead, but ensured they would never lose it.

Curry drilled a triple on the first possession of the quarter, followed by two more in the first 2:14 of the period, flipping the game on it's head and silencing the crowd.

Overall, Curry dropped 14 in the period, in what was a game defining burst.

Trae Young does it again

The Hawks may have fell short, but it wasn't through lack of effort from Trae Young.

Young finished with his usual array of spectacular shots, with perhaps none better than this triple to keep the Hawks alive late.

Young tallied 34 points and 12 assists on the night, and with his big game prowess already proven in this postseason, he gets another opportunity in Philadelphia.

John Collins delivers the poster

Hawks big man John Collins had several clashes with Embiid throughout the night, with the Sixers big man appearing frustrated at times.

Perhaps some of the frustration came after this play, when Collins dunked all over Embiid, catching him in the face with his off-arm in the process.

Hawks free-throw struggles haunt

The free-throw struggles of Simmons have been well documented in this series, but the Hawks had problems of their own in Game 6.

If Atlanta go on to lose Game 7 they may look back at their 13-for-24 effort from the line in this outing as one of the big regrets.

Early in the fourth quarter with the Hawks trailing by one possession, the Hawks missed four straight attempts, with Bogdan Bogdanovic missing two.

Bogdanovic struggled to find the range throughout, adding just seven points on 3-for-11 shooting. They key offensive piece left the game during the fourth quarter with knee soreness and did not return, with his status for the decider not yet known.

Harris bounce back

Coming off a four points on 11 shots in Game 5, Tobias Harris bounced back strongly in this one.

The 24 points were an equal team high, with some clutch free-throws in the final minute helping to ice the game.

Harris, Curry and Embiid combined for 70 points, with the leading trio set to again carry the load with the series on the line at home.

What's next?

Game 7.

The teams move back to Philadelphia, with one night off before putting it all on the line.

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