Embiid & Sixers Dominate Hawks 127-111 in Impressive Win

By Chip Bayless



What started as a blow-for-blow struggle ended in a convincing knockout for the Sixers as it seemed like the Hawks had fallen flat on their face by the time the clock hit zero (or at least the Sixers made it look that way).

Everything changed in the third quarter as the 76ers outscored Atlanta by 15 in the period, starting off 8-for-8 as a team after halftime. The Sixers’ surviving Processors were the key as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid scored or assisted on 30 of Philly’s 34 third-quarter points.

Simmons did a phenomenal job guarding Trae Young (guarded him on 42 of 85 plays per ESPN Stats & Info) while still keeping a solid pace on offense and pushing the ball up the floor with authority. Most NBA players would have likely been exhausted with such a task, but Simmons almost looked like he never broke a sweat. Amongst his other Game 3 responsibilities, Simmons still managed to score the third-most points on the team with 18, and had the second-most assists with 7.

Yes, Trae Young had a game-high of 28 points on 9-for-17 shooting and had 8 assists. But let me tell you something: I have absolutely 0 respect for Trae Young’s game. His entire play style is based on foul-baiting. He doesn’t even play basketball, he just launches his body repeatedly into players who are already in the air or in other compromising positions.

He’ll frequently be in a dead sprint only to stop suddenly just to let the man chasing him run into his back while he launches a shot to the rafters for the foul call. The man had eight free throws last night and could have easily had more if the refs gargled his balls just a little more.

Sorry for the vent, the story here obviously isn’t Trae Young’s foul-baiting because despite his 28 points the Sixers still trounced the Hawks and won the game handedly. Embiid and Simmons led the team to the victory with Embiid’s impressive scoring and Simmons running the offense as effectively as a coach on the court; however, the Sixers as a team showed up in this one.

Everyone in the starting lineup had at least 10 points and an assist, including Furkan Korkmaz who stepped up in a clutch way for an injured Danny Green. Korkmaz was locked in from three-point range and finished the night shooting a whopping 50% from three, 44% from the field, had two steals, 14 points, and a crazy plus/minus of 24 while playing 27 minutes.

Tobias Harris’ performance can’t be understated either. If Simmons and Embiid led the team to the win, Tobias had to have been the glue that held the whole team together.

There was a reason he played the most minutes of any Sixer in Game 3 with 38, and he was ridiculously efficient against the Hawks. Tobias Harris shot 62.5% from the field for 22 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

Philly will need similar performances out of their stars in Game 4, and maybe even another historic performance from Embiid. Joel Embiid finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists against Atlanta in Game 3, becoming only the second Sixers player in franchise history to average 35 points and 10 rebounds over a three-game playoff span (after Wilt Chamberlain, per Elias Sports Bureau research).

The final interesting note from this game is that it was Simmons’ first since Rudy Gobert was named Defensive Player of the Year.

“Congrats to Rudy. I mean, it is what it is,” Simmons said. “I’m not really concerned about individual awards. I want the championship. So that’s my goal. Honestly, the goal is never Defensive Player of the Year. It’s just to go out there and do my job and try to be the best defender in the league, regardless of the awards.”

“But the ultimate goal is a championship. And that’s why I got to do my job at a high level.”

Well said.

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