Home court advantage restored.
The Philadelphia 76ers have recovered from a shock Game 1 loss to take a 2-1 series lead on the back of a 127-111 win in Atlanta.
The Sixers had to overcome some adversity to pick up the win, with a balanced scoring attack lead by Joel Embiid ensuring control is now back in favour of the No. 1 seed.
Embiid knee watch
Once again listed as questionable prior to the game, Embiid was declared healthy enough to suit up in Game 3.
An indication of his health clearly being below 100 percent came in the third quarter, with the Philadelphia big man grabbing his knee after securing a rebound before visibly limping to the bench as a timeout was called.
Embiid would stay in the game out of the timeout. Moments later, he would finish this lob on the perfect pass from Ben Simmons, once again seemingly feeling his knee on landing.
This Simmons dime to Embiid was too smooth 😮 pic.twitter.com/G2m40jrvb5- NBA TV (@NBATV) June 12, 2021
The injury is likely to be carried by Embiid as long as the Sixers postseason run continues, though the big man continues to put up big numbers, finishing Game 3 with 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Playing with a partially torn meniscus, the fact Embiid is playing at all let alone dominating in this fashion is truly remarkable.
Simmons leads transition procession
The game truly broke open in the third quarter, with Philadelphia outscoring Atlanta 34-19.
Turning defence into offence, the Sixers repeatedly pushed the pace in transition behind Ben Simmons.
Simmons drops the hammer 🔨 pic.twitter.com/q2MiHoQ4vi- NBA TV (@NBATV) June 12, 2021
Overall, the Sixers outscored the Hawks 15-6 in fast break points, while also sharing the ball with great impact, leading the assist count 28-15.
Simmons tallied 18 points and seven assists on 7-for-11 shooting.
Trae feels the defence once again
Defended by the combo of Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle in Game 2, Trae Young once again saw the size and length of the Philadelphia duo in this one.
The crafty guard still managed to put up 28 points and eight assists, but never totally looked comfortable against the aggressive defence.
Despite the close attention, Young still found his way to the free-throw line for nine attempts, while also engaging Clint Capela and John Collins in pick-and-roll scnarios as a lob threat.
Young is a genius with the ball in hand, it's just a tremendous challenge for him to fight through traps against a pair of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA while also giving up a massive size gap.
For Philadelphia, keeping Young under 30 points has to be considered a win.
Setch Curry cooking
Averaging 21 points across the first two games in the series, Seth Curry has been on fire from beyond the arc to hit 10 of his 15 attempts.
.@sdotcurry tendencies.- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 12, 2021
📺 @ESPN | #PhilaUnite pic.twitter.com/siqW2vmvw3
Curry cooled off slightly in Game 3, but still managed to score in double digits with 12 points including two makes from the outside.
Danny Green exits
Green would last just four minutes before hobbling from the floor.
The team would later announce he would not return with a right calf strain.
Danny Green has been diagnosed with a right calf strain and will not return, the Sixers say. https://t.co/UrYr3nXJ6I- Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 12, 2021
Furkan Korkmaz would be the immediate benficiary, checking into the game and making an immediate impact.
Leading all scorers with 11 points in the first quarter on 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 from three, Korkmaz helped spark a bench unit that had scored only five points in the first half of Game 2.
He's Furkan at it again.@FurkanKorkmaz | #PhilaUnite pic.twitter.com/waPYyyKV1O- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 12, 2021
The series will take two nights off before Atlanta will try to square things up at 2-2 at home.
Prior to tonight, Atlanta had won 13 straight games at home so they should enter the game liking their chances.
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