With their season on the line, the 76ers finally won a close game in the series by clinching Game 6 in Atlanta and forcing a Game 7 back in front of their home crowd.
24 PTS | 2 AST | 3 REB@sdotcurry is etching his name in Sixers history with every three.- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 19, 2021
📹 presented by @ibx pic.twitter.com/EllzzWXEy7
This is going to be the third Game 7 of the 2021 postseason and the 142nd in NBA history with the higher seed holding a record of 109-32 (77.3%) in the previous 141.
If the 76ers advance, they'll record their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since their last NBA Finals run in 2001. For the Hawks, if they win the 'winner-take-all' Game 7, it would be their first Eastern Conference Finals since 2015 but only their second in franchise history.
Both franchises have faced off twice in their playoff history with the 76ers winning both: 4-1 in 1980 Conference Semifinals and 2-0 in 1982 First Round.
That said, let's take a quick look at how both franchises have fared in Game 7s in the past.
- This would be the 17th Game 7 in franchise history with the team holding a 6-10 record in the previous 16.
- Their most recent 'winner-take-all' contest came in the 2019 Conference Semifinals against the Toronto Raptors, a game they heartbreakingly lost courtesy of a series-clinching buzzer-beater by Kawhi Leonard.
- Twice in franchise history (Conf. Finals in 1968 and 1981), the team has lost a Game 7 after holding a 3-1 series lead. They are one of only three teams in NBA history to give away a 3-1 series lead twice.
- This will be the 15th Game 7 of Doc River's coaching career as he holds a 6-8 record in the previous 7. Both of the LA Clippers' 3-1 series giveaways - in 2015 and 2020 - came while he was at the helm.
- For the 76ers' top-earning superstars in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris, this will be their second career Game 7 with their first being that gut-punching loss in Toronto in 2019.
- This would be the 14th Game 7 in franchise history with the team holding a 4-9 record in the previous 13.
- Their most recent 'winner-take-all' contest came in the first round of the 2014 playoffs when they came up short as the eighth seed against the top-seeded Indiana Pacers.
- For Hawks interim head coach Nate McMillan, who has only made it out of the first round once in his nine previous postseason trips, this is just the second Game 7 of his 17-year coaching career.
- His only prior Game 7 came with the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2018 playoffs against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which he lost by the slim margin of four points (105-101).
- For the Hawks' top contributors in Trae Young, John Collins and Bogdan Bogdanovic, this will be their first career Game 7.
What to expect?
The 76ers won Games 2 and 3 by an average margin of 16 points but the other four games including the Hawks' three wins were determined by a combined margin of 15. How will Game 7 pan out?
According to FiveThirtyEight's NBA Predictions model, the 76ers are 71% favourites to win Game 7. Both teams will take the floor for the one win-or-go-home game on Sunday, June 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
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