Despite losing the lead early on in the fourth game of the second round in the NBA’s 2021 playoffs, Atlanta Hawks fought back against the Philadelphi 76ers to secure a much-needed win to equalise the series.
Philadelphia led 2-1 as the two teams went into game at Atlanta’s Statefarm Arena, in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Atlanta got game four underway as they secured the tip off. But it took a full minute before the Hawks got their first set of points on the board as Clint Capela scored a lay up from inside the paint. But Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons retaliated with his own two point shot, a minute later.
While the Hawks looked to be the stronger side in the opening minutes, as the Georgia outfit controlled the tempo, the Sixers turned up the heat after their first time out. With five minutes left on the clock, Philadelphia had found a way to equal the scoreline (12-12).
Philadelphia ran hot in the latter stages of the first quarter while the Hawks were ice cold. Despite Atlanta’s efforts, their defence looked to fall apart as the visitors stacked up a 10 point lead with 30 seconds left on the clock.
However, the home side was able to bring that deficit back down to eight by the end of Q1.
Despite the brief break between the two quarters, Atlanta’s offensive chances didn’t improve in the first half of Q2 as they were only able to make six points in four minutes.
However, something clicked as the second period peaked over its halfway point when the home side pulled the deficit down to five.
But once again, when the quarter reached the last minutes, Philadelphia were back on their hot streak and they pushed out a 17-point lead over Atlanta. This prompted the home side to call their third timeout of the game in an attempt to fix their problems.
While the Sixers may have had a cold start to game four, it didn’t take them long to warm up. They totally dominated the first half as they racked up 62 points compared to the Hawks’ 49.
Ahead of the second half, Simmons found himself on the triple-double watchlist as the Australian Point Guard had obtained eight points, 11 rebounds and seven assists with two quarters left to play.
Atlanta came back into the second half hungry to claw back their deficit, but they still struggled to convert some of their shots into points. However, with a strong performance from the Hawks’ Trae Young, he had given the trailing home side some hope.
Simmons was put under investigation with four minutes left on the clock of Q3, after he charged into Atlanta’s John Collins. The Sixers’ PG was given a flagrant foul one which means the Australian was found to have made unnecessary contact against an opponent, as Collins was lifting into the air for his two point shot.
At the beginning of the final quarter, Atlanta’s Bogdan Bogdanović got the reduced crowd to their feet as he made a three point shot and gave the home side the lead since the first quarter. However, this was short lived as the Sixers were able to quickly respond to Atlanta’s lead.
Dwight Howard became Phildelphia’s second player to be investigated by the game’s officials after the Sixers’ Center accidentally elbowed Collins. Fortunately, it was deemed as a loose ball foul rather than a second flagrant one for the visiting side.
As the game came down to its last minute, Young had the chance to shoot two free throws to give the Hawks a three-point lead with only 49.6 seconds remaining of regular time. Atlanta’s Point Guard delievered as he sunk both free throw attempts to give Hawks a total of 101 points.
With only 16.1 seconds left on the clock, only one point separated both teams from victory. However, Simmons accidentally caused a turnover, on Philadelphia’s final attack, as he pushed the ball out of play. This handed Atlanta 8.2 seconds, of regular time, to survive their way to victory and tie the series.
Full-time: Atlanta Hawks 103 – Philadelphia 76ers 100
Series tied: Philadelphia 2 – Atlanta 2
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