The 76ers had a much-needed victory. Sure, MVP candidate Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 40 points and 13 rebounds. It was Milton’s 14 points, going 4 of 5 from 3-point range, that was the catalyst.
“It really shows what the playoffs are about,” Tobias Harris of the 76ers said. “You just need, as a whole team, every game is important. You never know who is going to step up.”
Milton was not made available to speak to the media after his late-game heroics.
Milton has played sparingly in the playoffs. In the 76ers’ previous six games, he played a total of 50 minutes, including 38 seconds against the Hawks in Game 1, and totaled 17 points. He scored his 14 points in 14 minutes Tuesday.
“For some reason, I felt he was going to be needed so before the game I told him to get ready,” Embiid said. “I love all these guys. He’s one of them, and I believe in all of them because I want to win it all, and I’m going to need them to do so. I’m extremely happy for him.”
76ers coach Doc Rivers needed to bring Milton off the bench because of the poor play of his second unit. At halftime, the Hawks reserves outscored the 76ers reserves 32-0. By the end of the game, the 76ers bench had 26 points, including Milton’s total.
Milton was in the gym playing one-one-one and getting up shots at 10 p.m. Monday, according to Rivers.
“I thought the second-unit was struggling,” Rivers said of the move to bring in Milton “We had zero points at halftime from our second unit. I talked to Shake today. I said this is a long run, man, if we do this right everyone is going to get a shot and stay ready.
“He prepared himself and he believed he would get another shot. And he got it and he gave us a huge lift.”
It was just what the 76ers needed.