Hawks blow 10-point fourth-quarter lead in loss to Sixers

The Hawks (12-11) squandered a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in a 98-96 loss to the Sixers (12-11) Friday at State Farm Arena.

Next up, the Hawks will the Hornets Sunday and travel to Minnesota for the second half of a back-to-back Monday.

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Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. Up 10 early in the fourth quarter, the Hawks were primed for a win. But, their shooting went cold (Arctic, really), at the wrong time, limping to just nine points in the final period. Joel Embiid made a jump shot to tie it up, 96-96, and another to give Philly the lead with 42.2 seconds left. The Hawks got the ball back, but John Collins turned it over. After an Embiid miss, they had another chance, but a 3-point attempt by Danilo Gallinari glanced off the rim. Hawks coach Nate McMillan said he thought the Hawks were trying to attack the Sixers with the dribble too much instead of moving the ball, but Philly’s defense is good on the ball — the Hawks needed to get them scrambled.

“I thought we missed some shots but I thought we didn’t execute, as well, down the stretch,” McMillan said. “We pretty much allowed their pressure to disrupt us. ... We missed some open looks early in that quarter and I thought their pressure really affected us.”

2. Embiid led all scorers with 28 points and 12 rebounds. He’s a difficult matchup for most every team he faces, and got away from the Hawks for some pivotal crunch-time buckets.

“He’s seven-foot, 300 pounds, and he’s skilled, you know what I mean?” Collins said of Embiid. “He has a touch and it’s difficult to guard him in the mid-post, especially when he has rhythm. ... You know he’s going to be a focal point in the offense and you just have to make every shot as tough as possible. I feel like we did a solid job of that, but good players are going to do what good players do, and we’ve just got to stay solid when we meet him.”

3. Trae Young led the Hawks with 25 points and 10 assists for a double-double, and though Collins didn’t get involved in the offense until the second quarter, he worked his way up to 18 points and eight rebounds, with two blocks. With two starters and their leading bench scorer out injured (Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish), the Hawks again went to Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot in the starting lineup and gave Solomon Hill playing time. Luwawu-Cabarrot went scoreless, with three rebounds and a turnover, though he was scrappy on defense, and Hill added two points and three rebounds. Injuries are part of the game and the Sixers were missing guys, too, (Tobias Harris was out with a non-COVID illness), but the Hawks certainly missed the production of Bogdanovic, Hunter and Reddish Wednesday.

4. Gallinari has had a rough shooting start to the season, but this was a good game from him on a night when the Hawks needed production from the bench. He registered a season-high 18 points, to go with eight rebounds and three assists.

5. The Hawks didn’t help themselves with 16 turnovers, which led to 17 points for the Sixers. Young had four turnovers, Collins had three and Lou Williams (11 points) had five off the bench.

76ers 98, Hawks 96

Stat of the game: 15% (or 3-for-20, what the Hawks shot from the field in the fourth quarter)

Star of the game: Embiid (had a game-high 28 points and 12 rebounds, delivering the game-tying and go-ahead shots in the fourth)

Quotable: “You’ve got to give credit when they’re playing hard and playing physical. Just how it happens sometimes. They out-physicaled us in the fourth quarter. The refs let them play and it just kind of happened.” (Young on the fourth quarter)

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