Skip to main content

With the whole world watching the primetime Friday night matchup, the Atlanta Hawks blew a lead to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Hawks entered the 4th quarter with a 9 point lead and their offense clicking on all cylinders. However, thanks to some cold shooting and the 76ers defense, the Hawks were outscored in the final period 20-9. As a result, they lost the game and the season series. 

Although he's still not at 100% after a bout of COVID-19, Joel Embiid played like an MVP candidate. The big man scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Embiid's stellar post play was supplemented by the team's role players stepping up. The 76ers played ferocious defense (forcing 16 turnovers) and overcame a terrible second quarter.

Following the game, Hawks coach Nate McMillan gave his diagnosis for the blown lead:

"I thought we missed some shots. But I thought we didn't execute as well down the stretch. We pretty much allowed their pressure to disrupt us. I didn't think we executed our plays down the stretch well. But we missed some open looks early in that quarter. I thought their pressure really affected us - 16 turnovers. We were trying to attack them with the dribble and you got to move the ball against this type of defense. So you got to get them in a scramble situation, and we didn't do that." - Hawks coach Nate McMillan after the 98-96 loss to the 76ers.

You can't fault Clint Capela or John Collins. Both big men battled all night. Capela only scored 6 points but grabbed 11 rebounds which is no easy task when dealing with Embiid. Collins logged 18 points (66.7%), 8 rebounds, and 1 baptism (see below). 

Collins blamed turnovers but primarily poor shooting for the loss. "Our inability to put the ball in the basket, I feel like we were playing good, solid defense for the majority of the game. I didn't feel like all of our shot attempts were the best we could get at sometimes. That adds up."

Danilo Gallinari came off the bench with his best performance of the year. 'Gallo' scored 18 points and snatched 8 rebounds. To the surprise of no one, Trae Young went off again. 'Ice Trae' scored 25 points and dropped 10 assists. 

After the game, Young said, "We had some shots that didn't go in, but you got to give credit when they're playing hard and playing physical... They out-physicaled us in the fourth quarter, and the refs let them play, and it just kind of happened."

Of course, this is a much closer game than the October blowout in Philadelphia. Not to mention, the Hawks are still without Cam Reddish, Bogdan Bogdanovic, De'Andre Hunter, and Onyeka Okongwu. So there's no need for fans to hang their heads. This team just has to get healthy and continue improving throughout the marathon that is the 82-game season. 

The Hawks (12-11) host the LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets (13-11) on Sunday evening. Keep an eye on our website tomorrow as we're dropping something special. Thank you for your continued support of Sports Illustrated's

Hawks Stats Leaders

Trae Young - 25 PTS, 10 AST

John Collins - 18 PTS, 8 REB

Danilo Gallinari - 18 PTS, 8 REB

76ers Stats Leaders

Joel Embiid - 26 PTS, 12 REB

Seth Curry - 18 PTS, 5 AST

Georges Niang - 13 PTS, 4 REB

Why Does Trae Young Wear #11?

NBA 2K Updates Hawks Ratings

John Collins Giving Back to Local Veterans

Like SI Hawks on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest Hawks news!