Doc Rivers-coached teams are notorious for blowing big leads in the playoffs. He is the only coach to have lost a 3-1 series lead for three different teams. And on Wednesday, Rivers carried some of his playoff ugliness to Philly.
Rivers’ 76ers blew a 26-point lead and lost Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series 109-106 against the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta went on a 15-0 run late to help close things out.
Despite the collapse, Rivers says his team will win Game 6.
“We’ll get back up. … We’ll be back here for Game 7,” Rivers said after the game, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I believe that. … This is part of sports. You have some awful moments … We have made this hard on ourselves, we have to own up to that — all of us — and then we have to get up and be ready for the next game.”
Rivers blamed the 76ers for not moving the ball enough in the second half. Seth Curry scored 36 points on seven three-pointers, but Rivers believes he was the only one moving the ball late. Curry and Joel Embiid combined for 73 of the team’s 106 points.
Game 6 of the series will be on Friday in Atlanta. The Sixers need to win two in a row to advance.