Well, that wasn’t expected. Atlanta Hawks wing Kevin Huerter scored a playoff career-high 27 points Sunday evening against the Philadelphia 76ers. He ended up being the Hawks’ leading scorer in a shocking 103-96 Game 7 win over the 76ers in Philadelphia.
This was the backdrop as Joel Embiid and Co. came up small in a huge game once again. Embiid turned the ball over with less than a minute left, leading directly to a dunk from Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari as 76ers fans inside Wells Fargo Center looked on.
By virtue of this win, the Hawks move on to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. It was an absolutely crazy ride for both the Hawks and 76ers in the second Game 7 in the Eastern Conference in two days. Like the Bucks’ win over the Brooklyn Nets Saturday evening, the road team came out victorious.
What’s even more shocking here is the fact that star Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young shot just 5-of-23 from the field in the win. Meanwhile, enigmatic 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons attempted all of four shots in yet another questionable performance from the former No. 1 overall pick.
As big of a win as this was for the Atlanta Hawks, it could have been a franchise-altering loss for the underperforming Sixers after they finished the regular season as the top seed in the Eastern Conference. That’s going to be a major storyline in the City of Brotherly Love during the summer. It was also among the biggest talking points on social media.
The Bucks and Hawks when they meet in the Eastern Conference Finals pic.twitter.com/NZsCtrEyLj— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) June 21, 2021
I don't think y'all understand how major this is. The Atlanta Hawks are in the conference finals. Dominique Wilkins couldn't break through because the East was stacked. Then they sucked. Joe Johnson, nope. Al Horford/Paul Millsap hit the LeBron wall. But these young fellas did it— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) June 21, 2021
Two questions: Did the Sixers really reject a James Harden-Ben Simmons trade? And how many shots per day should Simmons take this summer in the lab?— Shaun Powell (@Powell2daPeople) June 21, 2021
I’m not trading for Ben Simmons if I’m a GM https://t.co/Jg2G3VMfbO— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 21, 2021
Sixers fans waiting for Trae Young outside the arena pic.twitter.com/ZInvSgwBsW— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) June 21, 2021
The Sixers tanked for years, had multiple #1 picks, fired their coach, fired their GM, traded for shooters, were the #1 seed, had Game 7 at home and still couldn't get out of the 2nd round— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) June 21, 2021
There will be a ton of chatter tonight about how much of a disaster this is for Philly, and deservedly so. But the Hawks going on the road and winning three games in Philly — including Game 7 — to advance, especially with Trae struggling to score, is an unbelievable achievement.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 21, 2021
The Hawks beating the top seed in the East on their home floor, just to make it hurt a little more: pic.twitter.com/DkSdqwj9uQ— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) June 21, 2021
The Sixers had a max player/All Star who can’t be on the court because he might’ve been forced to make a free throw… or shoot the ball. This is unsustainable.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) June 21, 2021