The Atlanta Hawks produced a superb second-half comeback as the Philadelphia 76ers imploded in the final two quarters of the game to invoke the wrath of their head coach Doc Rivers.
The game started well for Philadelphia 76ers, who led the series 2-1 ahead of the game, with them taking an eight-point lead in the first quarter and extending that to 13 points by the half.
However, they added just a further 38 points in total across the entire second half, while the Hawks outscored them by 16 points to land a 103-100 victory to level the series at 2-2.
Game 5: Wednesday at 7:30pm/et on TNT. pic.twitter.com/XML1davXU8
— NBA (@NBA) June 15, 2021
Another Trae Young Masterclass
The Hawks have relied a great deal on Trae Young this season and once again number 11 produced the goods, scoring a team high 25 points, along with 18 assists and 4 rebounds. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 22 points, while Clint Capela and John Collins contributed 26 points and 25 rebounds between them.
In response, the 76ers top scorer was Tobias Harris with 20 points, while Joel Embiid had an off night in terms of points with just 17, the same as Seth Curry, although he did land 21 rebounds.
Although the defeat was a narrow one, it was the manner of the defeat which irked head coach Doc Rivers and he let his feelings be known following the game.
76ers Coach Vents Fury In Post-Game Presser
Having seen a potential 3-1 series lead heading back to Philadelphia snatched from his team’s grasp, 76ers coach Doc Rivers was not impressed with his team’s efforts in the game.
Doc Rivers not holding back his frustration with the team 😳😳 pic.twitter.com/dggVQCKlJ2
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 15, 2021
“Everybody wanted to be the hero, instead of trusting the team, trusting each other.” Complained Rivers in the aftermath of the loss.
“So when you do that, you usually lose. Especially, when the other team outworks you the whole f*****g game.”
Rivers was clearly annoyed at some of the individual play of the 76ers and a perceived lack of effort although his words may well have been aimed at fostering a positive response in the next game in the series back in Philadelphia.
That now crucial fifth game takes place in Philadelphia on Wednesday evening and looks like being the pivotal game in the series.
Clippers Bounce Back To Level Series Against Jazz
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 62 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists as they played an integral role in the Los Angeles Clippers levelling their series at 2-2 with the Utah Jazz.
Marcus Morris Sr. added 24 points, with no other Clippers player reaching double figures scoring as the trio dominated the first half to open up a 24-point lead at the end of two quarters.
It was a salutary lesson for the Jazz, who have been well below par in the last two games of this series and while the Jazz did come back in the second half, they never seriously threatened to get back into this game.
That despite another heroic effort from Donovan Mitchell who landed five rebounds, five assists and 37 points in defeat.
The Clippers victory was assured early on allowing them to rest Leonard late in the game in readiness for the fifth game in the series in Utah.
That game also takes place on Wednesday evening and could well play a key role in deciding who makes it through to the Western Conference Final.