NBA: Hawks escape 26-point hole, shock Sixers in Game 5

Field Level Media via Reuters

Posted at Jun 17 2021 11:02 AM | Updated as of Jun 17 2021 11:49 AM

NBA: Hawks escape 26-point hole, shock Sixers in Game 5 1
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) picks up a loose ball past Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) and guard Seth Curry (31) in Game 5 of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Trae Young scored a playoff-career-high 39 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from a 26-point, second-half deficit to stun the host Philadelphia 76ers, 109-106, on Wednesday and take a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Game 6 in the best-of-seven series will be played Friday at Atlanta.

The Hawks trailed by 18 points entering the fourth quarter before outscoring the 76ers, 40-19, in the final period. Atlanta never led until Young made three free throws with 1:26 to go for a 105-104 advantage.

John Collins added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks. Danilo Gallinari contributed 16 points, and Lou Williams had 15.

Philadelphia's Joel Embiid finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots but missed two free throws with 10.2 seconds remaining with the Sixers trailing, 107-104.

Sixers guard Seth Curry produced a playoff-career-high 36 points, including seven 3-pointers. Ben Simmons continued to struggle from the free throw line, going 4 of 14, and wound up with eight points.

When Curry dropped in his third 3-pointer, the Sixers led, 51-31, with 5:25 left in the second quarter.

Embiid soon connected on a tough turnaround jumper from the corner for a 58-34 lead with 2:07 left.

The Hawks struggled early with their half-court offensive execution thanks in large part to suffocating defense by the Sixers.

Young led the Hawks with 14 first-half points, but the Hawks trailed 62-40 at halftime. They shot just 13 of 42 (31 percent) before the break to the 76ers' 23 of 43 (53.3 percent).

Embiid knocked down his first eight shots and had 24 points and 10 rebounds by halftime. It was a major upgrade from Game 4, when Embiid went 0-for-12 in the second half.

Atlanta scored four quick points to open the third before the Sixers responded with an 8-0 run for a 70-44 advantage.

The Sixers maintained a large lead and were on top, 87-69, at the end of the third. Young missed a deep 3-point attempt from the top of the key in the waning seconds of the third.

Gallinari hit a trey to cap a 15-2 run and the Hawks closed within 87-76 with 10:15 left in the fourth.

Philadelphia soon came back with consecutive baskets from Embiid and Curry and pushed ahead, 93-78, with 8:37 remaining.

As the Sixers' offense stagnated, Collins banked in a 3-pointer with 5:25 to go as the Hawks cut the deficit to 100-92.

Young was fouled by Matisse Thybulle on a 3-point try with 86 seconds left and made all three free throws to put Atlanta ahead by one. Gallinari hit a jumper on the Hawks' next possession for a 107-104 lead to complete a 13-0 run.