PHILADELPHIA – – Trey Young delivered an early blow to Philly, who controlled the Hawks in Game 1, and ended the victory with a lob to John Collins for one-handed jam.
Collins blew the air in celebration, and Hawks took a moment to exhale after a huge lead was almost wasted.
“Thank God we were 20,” Hawks guard Kevin Herter said.
Young scored 25 of his 35 points in the first half when Atlanta shook off Joel Embiid and a hostile crowd and went on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 128-124 on Sunday in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“The trust in all these boys is high,” Young said. “We are here and we play for each other. Have fun here. They are all locked. “
Embid raised a hammer when he returned from a game with a ruptured cartilage in his right knee. He came out with the WWE Triple H star to a standing ovation.
Young and Hawks gave the Sixers the number of jumps and led by 26 points.
The Sixers ̵
Bogdan Bogdanovic, who missed all three games in the season series against the 76th with a knee injury, reassured Hawks when he buried 3, giving them the room they needed to breathe.
He even put his fingers to his lips and hugged the enraged crowd for good measure.
“He’s a big manufacturer of shots,” Huerter said.
This was not the only long shot that went well.
Coming out as five-point outsiders, the Hawks made 14 of their first 18 buckets and were aggressors, eager to use their time on national television. Young, like what he did in five games against the Knicks when he averaged 29.2 points, thrived in the spotlight. With all his focus on Embiid, All-Star Ben Simmons and the top-ranked Sixers, Young was a player he couldn’t miss in Game 1 – as in, he rarely did with the ball and all eyes were on him.
The Hawks used 17-0 in the first half – they hit 20 3 seconds overall – and Young shook, greeted and played with the Sixers and the crowd. Young bowed during the clincher to the crowd in New York, who laughed at him at every game. He poses for Philly, holding his right hand high and pointing to the basket for a few seconds, following the 27-foot he buried to close the first half.
“They hit us in the mouth to start the game,” said 76ers coach Doc Rivers. “They were the more physical team. They were the more aggressive team. They played harder, early. ”
Danny Green could not hang as Young’s main defender instead of Simmons, NBA nominee of the year.
Simmons said he wanted his shot for 40 minutes at Young and Hawks expects a change in strategy.
“Eventually he’ll see a boy who’s hot for a while,” coach Nate McMillan said.
The 6-foot 1 Young led the Hawks to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 and craves the pressure that comes with playing big games after a big market season.
A Knicks fan spat on Young during the first round. In Philly, he heard, “It’s going bald! Trey is going bald! “Chanting that darkened with each three – he hit four three and had 10 assists. He turned down his fans with 3 in the third quarter, which interrupted a little run by the Sixers.
Embiid answered the question of whether or not he wanted to play when he came out to perform before the game in matching T-shirts with the star wrestler – Triple H’s D-Generation X faction was Embiid’s favorite – and the overcrowded house went wild while holding a hammer high above his head. you are.
Embiid completed his part with 39 points and nine rebounds in 38 minutes after receiving a minor lateral meniscus tear in his right knee last Monday against Washington. Embid, who was sitting on a game 5 clincher, grimaced at times against the Hawks and hit the floor hard when he threw himself at Collins and fouled him.
“Playing a torn meniscus is not easy,” Embiid said. “The pain will be there. This is normal. It’s about his management. “
Tobias Harris had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Simmons scored 17 points and again fought from the free throw line, going 3 for 10.
Bogdanovic and Collins scored 21 points each for the Hawks.
Game 2 is Tuesday in Philadelphia.
The Sixers did an easy job for Washington in five games and with a home court in the playoffs in the East, the potential date with Brooklyn looked at the cards. Sixers fans chanted “We want Brooklyn” as they crowned a Game 5 victory last week.
But they forgot about Trey.
Only 14-20 when the Hawks fired coach Lloyd Pierce on March 1, the Hawks have been 33-12 ever since. They had the best record in the East after Macmillan took power, and Young said he was not happy with just one victory in the series.
The Sixers made them work for him in a fierce quarter – but the Hawks continued and gave Atlanta fans a good feeling on Sunday.
“All things are about birds,” Young said. “All we care about is victories.”
Hawks: F De’Andre Hunter was sitting with a sore right knee. … Young became the second player in NBA history to score 30 points in each of his first four road games in his career playoffs. He joins Karim Abdul-Jabar of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970 … Hawks scored a high playoff franchise for points in each half (74), and their 13 13-points in the first was a team record the playoff half.
76ers: We were a terrible 24 out of 35 from the free throw line. … Missed 19 of 29 threes.