PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers have not played like a top seed in the East against the Atlanta Hawks. The series is tied 3-3 and Game 7 is Sunday.
The Sixers are trying to make the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001. The Hawks made it in 2015.
The Hawks have already won two games in Philadelphia. They rallied from 26 points down in Game 5 and beat the Sixers. But they lost at home in Game 6.
The Sixers have waited for this moment since they began their rebuild in 2013 and pinned their championship hopes on Joel Embiid and fellow All-Star Ben Simmons to carry them to their first championship since 1983.
The Hawks may be forced to play Game 7 without Bogdan Bogdanovic, the team's top 3-point shooter. Bogdanovic left Friday night’s 104-99 home loss to the 76ers in the fourth quarter with right knee soreness and did not return. Coach Nate McMillan says the soreness is not related to the fracture in the same knee which forced Bogdanovic to miss 25 games this season. McMillan says “I really don't know” if Bogdanovic can return for the decisive game of the series.
The Hawks already have lost De'Andre Hunter to a knee injury.
WHAT TO KNOW
Atlanta Hawks (41-31, fifth in the Eastern Conference during the regular season) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (49-23, first in the Eastern Conference during the regular season)
WHERE/WHEN: Philadelphia; Sunday, 8 p.m. EDT
EASTERN CONFERENCE SECOND ROUND: Series tied 3-3
BOTTOM LINE: The Atlanta Hawks visit the Philadelphia 76ers in game seven of the Eastern Conference second round. The 76ers won the last matchup 104-99. Seth Curry scored 24 points to help lead Philadelphia to the win and Trae Young totaled 34 points in the loss for Atlanta.
The 76ers have gone 31-11 against Eastern Conference teams. Philadelphia is the top team in the Eastern Conference with 15.2 fast break points led by Ben Simmons averaging 3.3.
The Hawks are 24-18 in Eastern Conference play. Atlanta ranks fifth in the NBA with 45.6 rebounds per game. Clint Capela leads the Hawks with 14.3.
TOP PERFORMERS: Curry ranks second on the 76ers averaging 2.2 made 3-pointers, and is scoring 12.5 points per game while shooting 45% from beyond the arc. Joel Embiid is averaging 24.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists over the last 10 games for Philadelphia.
Young leads the Hawks averaging 25.3 points while adding 3.9 rebounds and 9.4 assists per game. Bogdan Bogdanovic is averaging 14.3 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 39.2% over the last 10 games for Atlanta.
DURING THE PLAYOFFS: 76ers: Averaging 118.1 points, 44.4 rebounds, 24.8 assists, 8.1 steals and 6.4 blocks per game while shooting 50.2% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 109.3 points on 45.1% shooting.
Hawks: Averaging 106.5 points, 43.0 rebounds, 19.8 assists, 5.7 steals and 4.9 blocks per game while shooting 44.4% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 105.8 points on 44.9% shooting.
INJURIES: 76ers: Danny Green: out (calf).
Hawks: De'Andre Hunter: out for season (knee), Cam Reddish: out (achilles), Brandon Goodwin: out for season (illness).