Joel Embiid bounded on the courtroom and pointed at Shake Milton following an electrifying stretch which may have saved Philadelphia’s season and yelled, “I instructed you be prepared!”
Positive sufficient, Embiid – who had a sideline confrontation final season with Milton – rallied the forgotten guard with a pregame pep discuss.
“For some purpose,” Embiid stated, “I felt like he was going to be wanted.”
And he was.
Milton buried a 32-footer and scored 14 factors, and Embiid had a playoff-best 40 factors and 13 rebounds to guide the 76ers previous the Atlanta Hawks 118-102 in Recreation 2 on Tuesday evening and even the Japanese Convention semifinal.
Recreation 3 is Friday in Atlanta.
“It actually reveals what the playoffs is about,” 76ers ahead Tobias Harris stated. “You by no means know who’s going to have the ability to step up.”
Milton took his flip in Recreation 2.
Milton shone at occasions as a sixth man this season earlier than he fell out of favour and slogged by an terrible first spherical in opposition to Washington (3.4 factors per sport).
With the reserves failing Philly for the second straight sport in opposition to the Hawks – the Sixers had zero bench factors on the half – coach Doc Rivers gave Milton a shot within the third.
The Sixers squandered a 21-point lead and Trae Younger hit a pair of free throws within the third for Atlanta’s first lead, 80-79.
Then got here Shake.
Milton didn’t play within the first half however promptly buried a fast 3 to make it 82-80 for Philadelphia’s first bench factors in 34 minutes. He buried a long-distance 3 on the horn that despatched the Sixers into the fourth quarter with a 91-84 lead and despatched the gang into an absolute frenzy. He stored it going with a jumper early within the fourth that made it 95-84.
Rivers stored the religion and Shake rattled the Hawks and helped the Sixers roll to a 14-0 run that blew the sport open and so they prevented a straight second catastrophe at house.
“He ready himself and he believed he would get one other shot and he obtained it,” Rivers stated.
Milton’s 14 minutes have been essentially the most helpful of Recreation 2.
Embiid proved his worth all season.
Taking part in with a cartilage tear in his proper knee, Embiid carried the Sixers early not lengthy after he came upon he was runner-up in NBA MVP voting. Embiid, Tobias Harris and Seth Curry steadied the top-seeded Sixers a sport after they fell behind by 26 and have been shocked in a Recreation 1 defeat.
Younger scored 21 factors for the Hawks, Danilo Gallinari scored 21 and Kevin Huerter had 20.
“At any time when we obtained shut we simply turned the ball over or gave up a basket,” coach Nate McMillan stated. “We did not actually do job of controlling or establishing our protection all evening lengthy.”
The Sixers led by 18 early and Sixers followers – who solely just lately have been allowed to pack the place – unleashed seemingly a season’s price of pandemonium from the opening tip.
Very similar to in Recreation 1, the 76ers reserves couldn’t preserve the sport aggressive. All 5 bench gamers used within the first half have been minus in plus-minus (George Hill and Furkan Korkmaz have been each at -11) and Atlanta got here roaring again. Huerter and Gallinari hit consecutive 3s that helped the Hawks pull inside 57-55 at halftime.
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Younger, the breakout performer of the postseason, was held to 11 factors within the half after scoring 25 within the first half of Recreation 1. The distinction was protection. Ben Simmons, an NBA defensive participant of the yr finalist, obtained the task on this one after Danny Inexperienced was overmatched within the opener. The Sixers have been prepared for Younger: On one first-quarter possession, Younger drove the lane and bumped into Embiid. Younger retreated past the 3-point line however was chased down and pressed by Embiid. Trapped alongside the sideline, Younger threw a wild go that was picked off by Inexperienced.
Late within the quarter, Younger took one among his regular lengthy, long-distance 3s from nearer to the 76ers brand than the 3-point line, however the 6-foot-10 Simmons used his outstretched proper arm and deflected the 6-1 Younger’s shot straight into the air. Simmons snagged the ball.
“I feel it was good we got here out right here and obtained a sport,” Younger stated. “Clearly they are a actually good staff on their ground. Getting no less than one sport was one thing we needed to do.”
Embiid ‘dissatisfied’ by MVP consequence
Embiid solely had one first-place vote in NBA MVP voting and completed second to Denver’s Nikola Jokic for the award. Each massive males nonetheless have their groups within the playoffs. Jokic averaged 26.4 factors. Embiid averaged 28.5 factors. Embiid averaged 10.6 rebounds. Jokic was at 10.8.
So why the massive disparity within the voting? Jokic was the runaway winner, getting 91 of the 101 first-place ballots solid.
Jokic performed all 72 video games whereas accidents restricted Embiid to 51.
“I feel it was a two-man race,” Rivers stated. “Simply so many nice gamers in our league. I do assume most likely the deciding issue was video games performed. That performed a task for certain. I used to be clearly hoping for our man however you may’t take something away from Jokic.”
Allen Iverson in 2001 is the final Sixer to win the MVP award.
Embiid stated the end was “disappointing”.
“As a participant you’re employed onerous for moments like this, nevertheless it’s out of my management. There’s nothing I can do about it,” he stated.
Up subsequent: Recreation 3
Joel Embiid is enjoying by a torn meniscus in his left knee, however has averaged 39.5 factors and 11 rebounds on this sequence. The Sixers have outscored the Hawks by 27 factors (18 per 100 possessions) in his 73 minutes on the ground, and they need to proceed to win these minutes because the sequence heads to Atlanta for Recreation 3 on Friday. However these minutes with him off the ground will proceed to be crucial.
The Sixers won’t want one other 28-8 run just like the one they obtained on Tuesday, however would possibly want Milton of their rotation from this level ahead. Playoff basketball can name for extra off-the-dribble creation than the common season, and Milton just a little extra off-the-dribble juice than any of the Sixers’ different guards.