On a night where things could go completely right or terribly wrong for the Hawks, the team found a way to pick up a convincing victory. The Atlanta Hawks were in Philadelphia facing one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, the 76ers on Friday. Luckily for Atlanta, Joel Embiid was ruled out of the game a few minutes before tip-off. With Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler still playing, it was going to be a tough game for the opposing team. The Hawks had dropped the past two games before Friday’s contest, but have shown many positive signs throughout the games. Eventually those signs would convert into wins, and that’s what the end result was on Friday.
Keeping up with the best
Both teams were in a back and forth game for most of the first half. Both had their fair share of mistakes, which made it impossible for anybody to pull away early. John Collins had 12 points and six rebounds in the first half, continuing his strong play for the Hawks. The 76ers were able to go on a run at some point in the half, but the Hawks battled back and got back in it heading into the third quarter. Like many games this season, this team has shown that they can keep up with some of the best in the league when they play good in the beginning.
No Embiid means take advantage
With Embiid out, it was evident what the Hawks had to do in this game. Dewayne Dedmon and Alex Len took advantage of the likes of Mike Muscala when it came to the front court battle. Dedmon was able to do most of his damage from the perimeter, going 3-of-5 from the 3-point line. Len’s height gave the 76ers problems all night as it looked like he couldn’t be stopped in the paint. Embiid was truly missed on the defensive side of the ball, and also on the offensive side. Muscala was the only big on the team to reach double-digit points in the game.
Huerter and Collins come up big
Down the stretch of the game, the Hawks young core began to show out big time. Kevin Huerter hit a clutch three to tie the game at 121 late in the fourth quarter. After the Hawks got a stop on defense, it was time for Collins to go to work. With seconds left in the game, he hit a turnaround fade away shot to give the Hawks a two-point lead and the win for the night. Huerter finished with 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting, and Collins finished with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting. The Hawks core group of young players are looking good heading into the future, and this win showed they are heading into the right direction.
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