Four Hawks made at least one 3-pointer in Friday night’s Game 6 against the 76ers.
Bogdan Bogdanovic’s moment came in the third quarter, momentarily stopping the bleeding inflicted by Philadelphia’s Seth Curry. Kevin Huerter made several throughout the night, highlighted by a first-quarter swish to extend the Hawks’ lead to 10.
Danilo Gallinari made several huge shots in the second half that continued to break into the 76ers’ lead, padded by Curry.
And then Trae Young’s big shots came all night — lighting up the stage that he’s built for himself these playoffs. Moments before intermission, Young launched a ball from the edge of the Hawks logo at midcourt and pointed to the ceiling and then back down to the floor as it went in.
But the moments, though important for team morale and keeping another sellout crowd at State Farm Arena invested in the action, were few and far between. As a team, the Hawks made only 10 shots from beyond the arc and converted only 13 of 24 free-throw attempts and lost 104-99.
“It feels like a game that we just didn’t shoot well as a team,” said Huerter, who made two of his six 3-point attempts. “It feels like we haven’t shot well really since Game 1. We have to get that rhythm back. We made a couple late 3′s that put us in a one-possession game late in the fourth quarter. Obviously we couldn’t hit one in the big moments to close this thing out.”
In that Game 1 played nearly two weeks ago, the Hawks made a franchise playoff-record 20 3-pointers to pull off the victory in Philadelphia.
In the five games since, the Hawks have converted only 48 baskets from long-range. That’s fewer than 10 made 3-pointers per contest.
“I think guys are getting a lot of good looks and good shots, they’re just not making them,” Young said. “Shots like that are like that. It’s tough not seeing the ball go through the hole as much as we have throughout the season right now. It’s part of it and we have to find a way to get through it.”
76ers 104, Hawks 99 (box score)
In the second half, Bogdanovic came out of the game, and the Hawks later announced that he was removed because of soreness in his right knee. Before his departure he had made only three baskets, only one of them from long range.
The scarcity of made 3-point shots has been a trend all series, and the Hawks have been forced to find offense in other ways. Whether in the paint with Clint Capela boxing out Joel Embiid, a John Collins dunk, a mid-range floater from Young or at the free-throw line, the Hawks found ways to score.
But Friday they made only 54.2% at the free-throw line.
“I missed way too many free throws tonight,” said Young, who was 3-of-5, and is one of the more consistent free-throw shooters in the NBA. “I think I missed two or three, but I don’t know if it’s (anxiety). It’s basketball. It’s hard to win.”
Huerter backed up his teammate.
“You have to look at the whole game,” Huerter said. “The ones in the fourth quarter are the ones fresh on your mind, but really all game it felt like we were missing free throws that guys usually make.”
Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan thought his team played too quickly and was settling for shots. Since McMillan took over in March, the Hawks have enjoyed a much calmer, methodical pace of play.
“We took quick shots which allowed them (the 76ers) to get out into transition when we missed those shots,” McMillan said. “Taking care of the ball, all those things we talk about — they won the hustle game.”
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