Joel Embiid scored a playoff-career-high 40 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Tuesday as the host Philadelphia 76ers evened their Eastern Conference semifinal series with a 118-102 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2.
Once again, Embiid was questionable to play shortly before tipoff due to a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.
Tobias Harris added 22 points and Seth Curry had 21, including five 3-pointers, for the Sixers. Shake Milton scored 14 points in 14 minutes off the bench.
Philadelphia’s reserves were held scoreless in the first half but came through with 26 points in the second.
Trae Young put up 21 points and 11 assists for the Hawks. Danilo Gallinari had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Kevin Huerter added a playoff-career-high 20. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 14 points while Clint Capela had 10.
Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter missed his second straight game because of right knee soreness.
Game 3 in the best-of-seven series will be played Friday in Atlanta.
The Sixers came out strong and moved ahead 23-6. The Hawks stayed patient, chipped away and closed within 37-35 midway through the second quarter.
Embiid soon capped a 9-0 run with a short jumper in the lane and the Sixers led by 11 with 4:52 remaining in the half.
Gallinari dropped in a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left and the Hawks trailed only 57-55 at halftime.
Harris scored 18 points before the break, and Embiid added 16 points but had three fouls by halftime. Huerter and Gallinari each had 15 first-half points for Atlanta.
When Embiid hit a trey from the wing with 7:12 to go in the third quarter, the Sixers led 73-63.
The Hawks mounted a rally and cut the deficit to 79-78 with 3:46 left in the third after a difficult 3-pointer by Bogdanovic. With just over two minutes left, the Hawks took their first lead at 80-79 after a pair of Young free throws.
Milton led a charge late in the third quarter, and sank a deep trey in the last second period as the Sixers took a 91-84 advantage.
Milton and Dwight Howard keyed a quick 11-0 spurt to open the fourth and the lead quickly was extended to 18. Milton capped the run with a 3-pointer that put the Sixers up 102-84 with 9:45 to go.
Atlanta’s John Collins grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 8:25 left to get the Hawks within 104-88. Collins finished with a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Hawks committed 18 turnovers that resulted in 28 Philadelphia points. Atlanta managed just seven points off nine Sixers giveaways, one game after Philadelphia turned it over 19 times.
–Field Level Media
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