Welcome to the Yahoo Sports NBA playoff tracker, your daily one-stop shop for all the latest game results from each NBA playoff series. Here’s a look at Tuesday’s games.
Shake Milton might have saved the Sixers’ season
Call it the Shake Milton game.
The third-year Philadelphia 76ers reserve scored 14 points on six shots over six minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters. His heat check sparked a 28-9 run that broke open a previously unnerving Game 2 for the Sixers, whose 118-102 win over the Atlanta Hawks tied their Eastern Conference semifinals series, 1-1.
Joel Embiid‘s 40 points and 13 rebounds ensured the Sixers held a slim margin over the explosive Hawks until Milton caught fire. Tobias Harris scored 22 points for Philadelphia, and Seth Curry added 21. Sixers star Ben Simmons produced just four points on three shots and two missed free throws in 35 minutes.
Philadelphia’s defense frustrated Hawks star Trae Young all night. He still finished with 21 points and 11 assists, but shot just 6 for 16 from the floor and 1 for 7 from 3-point range. Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari combined for 41 points off the bench for Atlanta, finishing 8 for 14 from distance.
The Sixers came out determined not to repeat their lackluster start from Game 1, when the Hawks staked themselves to a 42-27 lead and never looked back. Philadelphia scored 24 of their 33 first-quarter points on Tuesday in the paint, led by Tobias Harris’ 16 points on 8-for-8 shooting inside the 3-point line in the frame.
Atlanta’s bench unit sparked a second-quarter comeback, as Huerter and Gallinari combined for 20 points on 7-for-8 shooting in the 12 minutes before halftime. Hawks reserves outscored their Sixers counterparts 32-0 in the first half, and Philly’s one-time 18-point lead was trimmed to 57-55 at the break.
The Hawks hung around, despite Embiid’s 17 points in the third quarter. Back-to-back Bogdan Bogdanovic 3-pointers and a pair of Young free throws briefly gave Atlanta an 80-79 lead with 2:41 remaining in the third, but Milton responded with an onslaught. He drilled a 3 of his own to regain the lead, and two minutes later he hit a 35-footer at the buzzer to give the Sixers a more comfortable 91-84 lead entering the fourth.
Milton carried that 3-pointer into the final quarter, scoring or assisting seven of Philadelphia’s next 11 points to ignite a 14-0 run that pushed the lead back to 18 and ended any hope of an Atlanta comeback.
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