Rivers’ team passes 127-111 and takes the lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal. Gallinari closes with 17 points from the bench: coach McMillan could promote him as owner
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have just stepped off the pitch and are watching the game from the restricted benches area where players can catch their breath before putting on their goggles and sitting on the bench. The two Philadelphia stars look satisfied and give each other high five: mission accomplished. Yes, the Sixers have fulfilled their mission: in Atlanta, in Game-3, they showed their true face, that of the team that ended the regular season in first place in the Eastern Conference. The one that dominated Atlanta 127-111 in race-3, the first in Georgia. Danilo Gallinari (still a good game, 17 points) and teammates wanted to use the home crowd to bite the Sixers and get back in the series. Instead they go down 2-1, demolished in the second half by the completeness of Philadelphia.
The Sixers deserved the victory despite the injury to the right calf that took Danny Green out of the way after 150 ”(” I doubt you play game-4 “anticipates Doc Rivers). It’s a team victory, not the consequence of Embiid’s overwhelming power as race-2. The center finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, forced by the Hawks ring to search and find the foul line frequently. “He was good and patient, he took a few hits too,” Rivers says of his star. The other star, Simmons, broke free in the third quarter and helped Phila to dig the decisive groove: “I told him he wasn’t aggressive enough in attack, that he didn’t give us enough pace – said Rivers. – Then one of the my assistants reminded me that he was also marking Trae Young. But I still asked him to be more aggressive in attack, and that’s what he did. ” Simmons played his best game of the series, putting 11 of his 18 points in the third quarter and adding 7 assists to it. The movement of the ball (28 assists) was one of the keys together with the points in the box (66) and the contribution of the bench, which with 48 points has constantly helped to make a difference. Despite the show of strength with Phila took control of the series, Simmons warns his teammates: “Atlanta is a great team, we must not let our guard down”.
Atlanta falls for the second time in a row, overwhelmed vigorously argues Nate McMillan from the physicality of Philadelphia: “Their size is having an impact on the series and when we attack we can’t get past Embiid: we have to figure out how to do it” he proclaims. A problem so serious that the coach did some experiments in the final, including trying a quintet with Gallinari as a small forward in the frontcourt with John Collins (23 points and 7 rebounds in Game-3, his best so far) and Clint Capela (16 rebounds, but trying to stop Embiid always knows mission impossible). “It’s a weapon that I am convinced we will have to use sooner or later” Collins relaunches. Atlanta’s other mission is figuring out how to unlock Trae Young. The Hawks star finished with 28 points and 8 assists, but he never really managed to make a difference and his difficulties end up stagnating the Hawks attack: “I’m not worried, I never lose faith in shooting and in my team – he says -. They are not doing anything extraordinary on me, compared to game-1 they put Simmons as first defender. This is just a defeat in a best-of-7 series: we have to adapt to that what happens on the pitch and understand how to replicate “. If McMillan really promoted him as a starter, Gallinari would have to bring that contribution to the quintet that he constantly manages to give from the bench in this series. And not only: “In moments like these, veterans are very important – says the coach -: they talk to the team, they help their teammates. We will need them for sure”.
Phila immediately loses Green but finds the points from the bench (especially from Korkmaz, 11 in the first period) to reach the siren of the inaugural 12 ‘ahead 28-20, an advantage that Milton, the hero of race-2, touches up in 41-30 8’16 “from rest. Atlanta tries to return with Young and Bogdanovic, but the Sixers arrive at the break ahead 61-56. It starts with Korkmaz and Snell owners: the Hawks struggle in defense and Simmons and Embiid (11 points each in the period) launch the Sixers ‘escape, who with two free shots from the Cameroonian fly 93-73 at 1’ from the third siren. The match, in fact, ends there, despite the belated surge of pride of the Hawks.
AtlantaGALLINARI 17 (4/5 of two, 0/4 of three, 9/9 free throws), 3 rebounds in 30 ‘. Young 28 (6/11, 3/6, 7/8 tl), Collins 23, Bogdanovic 19. Rebounds: Capela 16. Assist: Young 8.
Philadelphia: Embiid 27 (6/11, 1/3, 12/16 tl), Harris 22, Simmons 18. Rimbalzi: Embiid 9. Assist: Embiid 8.
June 12, 2021 (change June 12, 2021 | 08:18)
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