Trae Younger led the Hawks with a bounce-back sport, scoring 26 factors, whereas Brandon Goodwin and De’Andre Hunter added 15 factors apiece as all 5 Hawks starters notched double-figure scoring.
For the Sixers — who had solely 9 gamers lively on Monday because of accidents and COVID-19/contact tracing — Joel Embiid scored 24 factors in 22 minutes.
That being stated concerning the Sixers, they did threaten to start this sport, and that was because of Embiid simply bullying the Hawks within the first quarter, scoring 16 factors within the opening body.
Having drawn a foul within the first minute in opposition to Clint Capela, Embiid assaults Capela once more — scared of choosing up a second foul — and scores on the rim:
In transition, Embiid receives the ball from Tyrese Maxey and is ready to elegantly step his option to the purpose:
Embiid bought to the free throw line for six makes an attempt within the first quarter, drawing a number of fouls from the Hawks together with this one from Hunter:
Add just a few jumpers for the combo for Embiid too, together with this one in opposition to Bruno Fernando:
Then a three-pointer on the screen-and-fade, with Fernando unable to shut out:
To wrap up his 16th level within the first quarter, Embiid continued to take pleasure in his matchup in opposition to Bruno Fernando as he grabs the lengthy offensive rebound and provides Fernando the shake and pretend on the rim for the basket:
Embiid’s career-high of 49 factors — which got here in opposition to the Hawks final season — was wanting like a chance after the primary quarter because the Sixers led 32-28 and have been maybe unlucky to not lead a little bit extra heading into the second quarter, however the Hawks acquired a lift from Brandon Goodwin on the finish of the primary quarter to shut the Sixers’ margin.
Issues picked up for the Hawks within the second quarter, and when Embiid returned to the sport, the Hawks had a brand new search for him: double teaming.
Hunter and Capela mix on this possession to get Embiid on the transfer, who passes on his crowded drive to the open Danny Inexperienced:
That’s shot for the Sixers — and the Hawks will dwell with another person beating them after that first quarter from Embiid — however sadly for them, Danny Inexperienced shot 0-of-Eight from the sector final evening, 0-of-7 from three.
On the block, John Collins is the one to come back throughout to double on Embiid, who’s compelled into a choice and forces the cross-court go however can solely discover the Sixers bench:
Hunter comes over on the rotation on this possession and vertical problem on the rim helps pressure the miss on the rim from Embiid:
Once more, the Hawks throw our bodies at Embiid, stopping a mid-range jumper and a possible drive, forcing Embiid to relocate behind the three-point line, the place the Hawks can dwell with Embiid taking pictures from:
Whereas Embiid scored eight factors within the second quarter — scoring 24 first half factors — he shot 3-of-9 within the second body. 24 factors within the first half is clearly rather a lot to surrender however the Hawks could be glad with the adjustment made on Embiid, as a result of it actually helped change the complexion of the second quarter, and this sport.
“I feel we have been extra aggressive as quickly as we understood how aggressive he was, and particularly the best way he can get you in foul hassle, get calls,” stated Capela postgame. “As quickly as we began being extra aggressive on the entice, make him throw the ball away or to his teammates it turns into a unique sport.”
The Hawks scored 37 factors themselves within the second quarter and swung the sport again of their favor, in tandem with their changes on Embiid paying dividends.
Capela scored 10 factors within the second quarter (most of them coming from Younger alley-oops), together with this pretty play the place Collins assaults and attracts the protection earlier than dropping the dime for Capela on the baseline:
The Hawks scored 11 second likelihood factors within the second quarter, three of them approaching this possession as Fernando is blocked on the rim Embiid earlier than Hunter picks up the offensive rebound and finds Collins for his second three-pointer of the quarter:
Younger had struggled from three within the video games previous to this one however bought off of the snide with this deep three-pointer to additional improve the Hawks’ result in double-digits:
The Hawks scored 17 quick break factors within the first half, attacking the Sixers on the rim, and on a miss from the Sixers, the Hawks are off to the races with Younger and Kevin Huerter, the previous discovering the latter for the alley-oop layup:
To place the exclamation level on the quarter, the Hawks discover Cam Reddish for an explosive end on the rim:
That’s maybe essentially the most athletically explosive play of Reddish’s profession, but it surely additionally served to be a becoming finish to the Hawks’ 37 level second quarter during which they turned the tables on the Sixers.
One other side that helped the Hawks boosted their second quarter level whole was their second quarter free throw tally: 16 free throw makes an attempt within the second quarter alone. The Hawks bought into the bonus with over 5 minutes to go within the second quarter and took benefit of it — they haven’t all the time taken benefit once they’ve been within the bonus for lengthy stretches in quarters however they actually did final evening.
All of those components helped the Hawks flip this sport on its head within the second quarter and in direction of the place the Hawks could have been anticipated to take it with how short-handed the Sixers have been final evening.
“We have been simply working,” stated Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce of the second quarter. “I feel the most important factor for us was they’d an excellent first quarter, we needed to flip our protection up a little bit bit higher than we did within the first. Because of this, I assumed our potential to get out and run and get some simple baskets and get to the free throw line — we had 22 free throws on the half and that was as a result of we have been working and we have been attacking. I assumed the primary 5 minutes of the primary quarter we settled, we shot a bunch of threes — it was a minimum of 4 threes within the first 5 minutes and that was as a result of that’s what they have been giving us. I needed us to impose our will attacking downhill and doing it in transition and I assumed we did that within the second quarter.”
“We have been enjoying quick,” echoed Younger of the second quarter. “Simply getting again to what we do and photographs have been moving into. You simply see the arrogance with all people rolling, after a few photographs moving into felt like a trickle-down impact for everyone. I feel it was good, enjoying the best way we did tonight, enjoying at a quick tempo and doing a greater job on the defensive finish.”
Taking a 15 level lead into the half, the Sixers on the primary evening of a back-to-back and aware of the minutes for Embiid in such a scenario, the Hawks simply wanted a run to virtually finish this sport early and so they managed to do it.
An 8-Zero run for the Hawks to start the third quarter stretched their result in 23 factors earlier than growing that to 25 factors moments later, forcing the Sixers right into a timeout — trailing 77-52 with 8:14 within the third remaining. At this level, Embiid checked out of the sport — the Sixers stating their intentions for the rest of this sport — and didn’t return, the Sixers successfully waving the white flag there after which.
The Hawks pushed the result in as many as 35 factors earlier than an prolonged interval of rubbish time that noticed the likes of Brandon Goodwin getting an prolonged run, in addition to the top of the bench gamers like Nathan Knight, Skylar Mays seeing some uncommon game-time earlier than Tony Snell made his Hawks debut.
Nearly all of the Hawks’ work, nonetheless, was accomplished in that second quarter: taking the lead again from Philly, discovering their reply to Embiid and lengthening the result in the purpose the place one run within the third quarter was sufficient for Philly to concede this sport early within the third.
The Sixers have been actually victims of circumstance and harm however you play who’s entrance of you, and the Hawks wanted this win in a serious method earlier than heading on a troublesome journey to the west coast earlier than their MLK Day tilt in opposition to the Timberwolves.
Postgame, Pierce was happy with the best way the Hawks performed on the evening, whatever the end result.
“That was win, really feel,” opened Pierce. “Actually favored the best way our guys performed tonight, extra so than simply getting the win. I assumed it was what we’ve talked about all 12 months. They should really feel us a little bit bit extra defensively, we’ve bought to show up our protection. I assumed our offense was a mentality. Our guys bought out and ran, we tried to get as many simple baskets as we may from working. I loved the best way our guys performed tonight. It was good to see, good to see the win, good to see our guys play that method. How can we maintain it’s the subsequent query however that’s what we’ll concentrate on.”
The Hawks’ adjustment on Embiid was one of many turning factors of this sport and Pierce spoke to the impact of what doubling Embiid had on the tone the Hawks set on the court docket.
“Anytime you’re enjoying Embiid you must throw our bodies at him,” stated Pierce of Embiid postgame. “It’s important to double group him, you must put him within the crowd, you must attempt to entrance the put up. That goes with out saying. It’s important to go into any sport enjoying Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic — these are two guys you must ship further our bodies at. I feel the unintended consequence is, whenever you play that method, you ramp up your motor defensively the place you’re flying round, you’re double teaming the put up, you’ve bought to scramble and be in rotations. I assumed it helped us. We have been making an attempt to choose up full-court a little bit bit extra, we have been making an attempt to double group however each of them have been aggressive, flying round defenses and I assumed it actually set the tone for the way we needed to play.”
Younger has clearly been a subject of dialogue for a lot of causes contained in the final week — and carrying a minor wrist harm, which he stated postgame was a little bit sore nonetheless — however he put collectively a robust sport final evening: 26 factors on 9-of-19 taking pictures from the sector, 3-of-7 from three, eight assists and nil turnovers in 25 minutes in a return to normality for Younger.
Pierce was happy with Younger’s aggression greater than the rest, and particularly greater than makes and misses.
“I feel for him it was good, for me it was extra concerning the power and tempo he performed with,” stated Pierce of Younger. “I don’t measure the gamers the makes and misses. I assumed his aggression was the place we prefer it to be. We modified up a few units to place him again in the course of the ground and introduced our bigs up in order that he could be Trae Younger. I assumed he got here out seeking to be Trae Younger: attacking downhill, getting the bigs behind the protection, spraying out to a few of our shooters. His aggression was what was most necessary tonight.”
Younger himself was glad to see some photographs go down.
“It felt good to get some photographs moving into,” stated Younger on his sport. “Had a extremely good warmup at the moment and simply carried it over to the sport. It felt good.”
There’s truthfully not a ton to learn from this sport within the grand scheme. The Hawks — and this was a phrase talked about just a few occasions postgame — took care of enterprise in opposition to a really depleted Sixers aspect. It could’ve been a nasty look had the Sixers inflicted a fifth straight loss on the Hawks within the situation they have been in however the Hawks took care of enterprise and took care of enterprise early within the second half. Capela performed essentially the most minutes for the Hawks with 26 minutes when he was briefly inserted within the fourth quarter however that tells you a number of what you should know. Younger, Collins and Hunter all bought to benefit from the entirety of the fourth quarter on the bench.
This was an necessary win for the Hawks (5-5), with the group setting on a three-game Western Convention highway journey, starting on Wednesday evening in opposition to the high-flying Phoenix Suns. The yearly fixture in Phoenix has typically proved to be a vigorous affair for the Hawks and it may accomplish that once more, although the Hawks are fairly short-handed this time round themselves — Phoenix will unquestionably be favored to win that sport.
Till subsequent time…