Joel Embiid had 40 points and 13 rebounds, and Shake Milton scored 14 points in an electrifying stretch off the bench to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Atlanta Hawks 118-102 in Game 2 and even their Eastern Conference semifinal.
Aussie starter Ben Simmons copped some criticism from Philly faithful for only scoring 4 points, and going 0-2 from the free throw line deep in the fourth quarter, but he also had seven assists, three rebounds, two steals and one block in the victory.
And importantly he was given the job to shut down Atlanta’s Trae Young and successfully kept Young to 21 points.
Meanwhile fellow Aussie Matisse Thybulle had 2 points, two blocks and one rebound in 24 minutes on court.
Milton was a sixth man who then lost his spot in the rotation and scored only 17 points over spotty action in six playoff games this season.
Coach Doc Rivers kept the faith and Shake rattled the Hawks and helped the Sixers roll to a 14-0 run that blew the game open and sent a packed house into a frenzy.
Milton buried a long-distance 3 to send the Sixers into the fourth quarter with a 91-84 lead. He kept it going with a jumper early in the fourth that made it 95-84.
Embiid, Tobias Harris and Seth Curry steadied the top-seeded Sixers a game after they fell behind by 26 and were stunned in a Game 1 defeat.
Trae Young scored 21 points for the Hawks, Danilo Gallinari scored 21 and Kevin Huerter had 20.
Game 3 is Friday in Atlanta.
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