The Atlanta Hawks are into the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2015!
In a nail-biting 103-96 Game 7 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, the Hawks recorded their fifth road win in the playoffs in a game that featured 16 ties and 18 lead changes.
Kevin Huerter led five players in double figures with a playoff career-high 27 points, stepping up as Trae Young struggled, while John Collins finished with a 14-point, 16-rebound double-double.
Let's jump into the key takeaways from Game 7.
Kevin Huerter lives for the moment
With Trae Young struggling to get his shot going, Kevin Huerter picked up the slack, providing an offensive spark to keep the Hawks in the contest.
He led the way with 27 points and seven rebounds on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 from the 3-point line.
🗣 AND ONE pic.twitter.com/qD1AXFLdYf- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 21, 2021
Between their injuries and Young's cold shooting night, Huerter kept the offence ticking through the first three quarters, before Young found it late.
With the game and series on the line in the final minute and the Hawks in front by one point (93-92), Huerter made a crucial 3-point play after he was fouled by Matisse Thybulle on a 3-point attempt, knocking down all three free throws to make it 96-92 with 54 seconds to go.
Young held quiet, delivers late
The defensive tandem of Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle smothered Young all night as the Hawks star struggled to find his rhythm in Game 7.
He managed 21 points on just 5-of-23 shooting from the field and 2-of-11 from the 3-point line. His frustrations were visible in the first half as he was awarded a technical after arguing with the officials.
Trae Young shot 1-of-12 in the first half of Game 7.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 21, 2021
It's his worst career shooting half where he attempted at least 10 FG (reg. season or postseason). pic.twitter.com/xf0dz5QbjO
Despite the heavy defensive attention, he delivered when it mattered most, scoring 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including this clutch triple from way back to make it 93-87 with 2:30 remaining.
Trae Young fires from way downtown! ❄️@ATLHawks 93@sixers 89- NBA (@NBA) June 21, 2021
1:57 left... WIN or GO HOME GAME 7 on TNT pic.twitter.com/Yxn6hGNzGx
After taking a five-point lead into the fourth quarter, the Hawks' offence came out stagnant in the final period, registering their first field goal with 7:01 remaining in the game, before Young and Huerter combined late to ice the win.
On a night where his shot wasn't falling, Young was still able to impact the game with his passing and playmaking, dishing out 10 assists.
What a pass from Trae to Capela! #NBAPlayoffs @ATLHawks 60@sixers 60- NBA (@NBA) June 21, 2021
WIN or GO HOME GAME 7 on TNT pic.twitter.com/t6H1NNyYlZ
Turnovers prove costly for Philly
The 76ers were their own worst enemy in Game 7, turning the ball over 17 times, which the Hawks converted into 15 points.
Joel Embiid has 16 turnovers in the last 2 games.- StatMuse (@statmuse) June 21, 2021
He is the first player since 1984 to have back-to-back playoff games with 8+ turnovers. pic.twitter.com/3zv1g8XHGJ
Joel Embiid accounted for eight of the team's turnovers, including a crucial possession in the final minute, with an opportunity to cut the deficit to two points. Danilo Gallinari poked the ball away isolated with the 76ers big man and turned it into a dunk at the other end, shutting the door on Game 7.
Gallinari pokes it away and dunks it on the other end to extend the Hawks lead!@ATLHawks 98@sixers 92- NBA (@NBA) June 21, 2021
41.5 left... WIN or GO HOME GAME 7 on TNT pic.twitter.com/Ww5Om02LKi
Embiid led the 76ers with 31 points and 11 rebounds, while Tobias Harris added 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Simmons' fourth-quarter struggles continue
For the fourth-straight game, Ben Simmons didn't record a made field goal in the fourth quarter.
Ben Simmons 4th quarter this series:- Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 21, 2021
Game 1: 2-2 FG
Game 2: 0-0 FG
Game 3: 1-1 FG
Game 4: 0-0 FG
Game 5: 0-0 FG
Game 6: 0-0 FG
Game 7: 0-0 FG
Settling for passes, he finished with 13 dimes on the night, but his lack of aggression on the offensive end, when the 76ers needed buckets down the stretch proved costly.
.@sixers @BenSimmons25 has his fourth game this postseason with at least 10 assists. He's also now surpassed 100 in the 2021 @NBA Playoffs. He and @TheTraeYoung are the only payers with at least 100 assists this postseason.- Sixers Stats (@SixersStats) June 21, 2021
He recorded just five points on 2-of-4 shooting, adding eight rebounds on the night.
The Hawks will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, scheduled for Wednesday, June 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET
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