After a shocking loss at home to open the second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers battled back in Game 2 by picking up a convincing victory. Following Tuesday night’s victory, the Sixers then hit the road for the first time this series to face the Hawks in Atlanta.
Although the first quarter of action was sloppy for both squads as they turned the ball over six times each, the Sixers managed to outscore the Hawks 28-20 through the first 12 minutes of action. Throughout the series against the Hawks so far, the Sixers’ bench had a hard time contributing to the starters’ production.
But 76ers backup sharpshooter Furkan Korkmaz changed the narrative early on Friday night. Checking in for an unexpected six-minute shift in the first quarter, Korkmaz was perfect from the field as he hit all three shots, two of which from beyond the arc to account for 11 points.
While Philly got off to a solid start, they suffered a loss as the veteran forward Danny Green went down with a calf injury less than four minutes into the game. The Sixers quickly adjusted. Despite getting outscored in the second quarter, Philly maintained its lead through the first half as they went into halftime up 61-56.
When the third quarter rolled around, though, the Sixers found a way to rally as they followed the lead of an aggressive Ben Simmons. After scoring just four points on five shots in the first half, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers made it clear to his team that he wanted to feature Simmons in the offense.
In a little over nine minutes, Simmons shot efficiently from the field as he went 4-5 and also got to the free-throw line three times. Despite his struggles from the charity stripe throughout the entire postseason, Simmons went 3-6 from the line and totaled for 11 points in the third quarter.
Defensively, the Sixers held the Hawks to under 20 points and went into the final period with a comfortable 20 point lead. While they were outscored in garbage time, Philly would hold onto its lead as they wrapped up Game 3 with another convincing 127-111 victory, gaining a 2-1 series lead over the Hawks.