By Jerry Wein
Sixers center Joel Embiid seemed to not have the lift because if his torn meniscus, but he did enough on the ground to lift the Sixers up to a Fathers Day night game 7 against the Hawks.
Seth Curry hit six 3-pointers and scored 24 points and the top-seeded Sixers avoided elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinal series by beating the Hawks 104-99 in Game 6.
The 76ers overcame Trae Young’s 34-point effort to force Game 7 on Sunday night at the Wells.
Sportsbooks all over America, especially in hoops-crazy Indiana, are gearing up for a big night in anticipation of game 7.
Tobias Harris also had 24 points, making four free throws in the final 13 seconds to protect the lead. Embiid added 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Young’s long 3, just before the shot clock expired, cut Philly’s lead to 94-93. Embiid answered with a basket. Free throws by Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, who scored 16 points off the bench, pushed the advantage to 98-93.
Danilo Gallinari’s jam with 20 seconds remaining cut the lead to three points.
After rallying from deficits of 18 and 26 points in their last two wins, the Hawks finally started strong. Atlanta led by 12 points in the first period, and never trailed in the first half.
Atlanta led 51-47 at halftime. The 76ers opened the second half with a flurry of four 3s, including three by Curry, for a 12-0 run to open the second half that gave Philadelphia a 59-51 lead. The 76ers led by 11 at 68-57, following a jumper by Embiid.
Atlanta cut the lead to 80-76 entering the final period.
With Atlanta leading 92-84 with 4:03 remaining, Embiid was called for an offensive foul when guarded by John Collins. Embiid fell on top of Collins on the court and Collins then shoved the 76ers center before both rose to their feet. Embiid had his arms stretched out wide with Collins’ hands around his neck as both walked off the court under the basket.
Officials reviewed the altercation and called technical fouls on each player with no free throws rewarded.
After outscoring t he Sixers40-19 in the fourth quarter of their 109-106 comeback win in Game 5, the Hawks took the momentum into the opening period of Game 6.
Collins’ jumper to open the game helped Atlanta score 10 of the game’s first 12 points. A steal and free throw by Kevin Huerter, who had 17 points, stretched the advantage to 12 points for the first time at 20-8.
A long 3-pointer by Young again extended the lead to 12 at 25-13.
Maxey’s strong play off the bench helped the 76ers recover. Maxey’s floater early in the second period tied the game at 29-all.
Following a timeout that gave Hawks coach Nate McMillan the chance to send Collins and Young back into the game, Atlanta answered with a 10-0 run that included three baskets and a steal by Young.
Following his fast-break lay-in during the run, Young celebrated with a smile and shoulder shimmy.