The Philadelphia 76ers held a 26-point lead in Game 5 at home against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday and it looked as if they were going to cruise to an easy win and move to within a win of the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001.
Instead, they blew another lead in this series and they fell to the Hawks at home 109-106 and they are now facing elimination as they head down to State Farm Arena on Friday for Game 6.
Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 37 and 13 and Seth Curry had a playoff career-high 36 points, but the rest of the team could not get going. Embiid and Curry were the only players in the second half to make a field goal.
With that said, here are the player grades in the final look back at Game 5:
Embiid had 37 points and 13 rebounds to lead Philadelphia and he was terrific all night long, but in the fourth quarter, he lost his touch. He shot 1-for-5 from the floor and he missed two critical free throws late as well as being a minus-14 in the fourth. It was just a crash landing for a pretty terrific game for him.
Curry poured in 36 points while scoring 11 in the fourth to keep Philadelphia in it. If it wasn’t for Curry’s scoring in the second half, the Sixers probably would have lost the game in the third quarter. However, he did have his struggles on the defensive end of the floor against Bogdan Bogdanovic and Lou Williams.
Once again, Simmons came up small. When the team needed him the most, he shied away from the bright lights and it cost his team. He scored only eight points, he took four shots the entire game, he only took one shot in the second half, and he was 4-for-14 from the foul line. On top of that, he let Hawks star Trae Young get loose for 25 points after halftime. Simmons has got to be better for this team.
Harris is not free of criticism in this one either. While he has had a fabulous postseason, he came up small on Wednesday as well. He only scored four points on 2-for-11 shooting while going scoreless in the second half on 0-for-4 shooting. With Simmons struggling, they need Harris to provide more on offense.
Korkmaz, for the most part, did his job. He played well in the first half and he knocked down a triple, but he struggled again in the second half and his defense did not make up for his struggles on offense. This is where the Sixers miss Danny Green.
Thybulle knocked down a couple of 3-pointers, which is always helpful, but he did not play well on the defensive end. There were a few times where he gambled a few times with Young and he had to foul him when catching up.
Milton had five points on 1-for-5 shooting and he committed three fouls off the bench. He was getting some good looks, but he just could not knock them down.
Hill only had two points on 1-for-5 shooting and he missed both of his 3-pointers. He was also a minus-7 in 11:49 of playing time.
Howard went scoreless in 8:34 of playing time while missing both of his shots. He definitely has looked a little old in this series against Atlanta’s young and athletic big men in this series. Not only against John Collins, but even against rookie Onyeka Okongwu as well.
Maxey only played 1:20 in this one and he did not record a single stat in that time. He was, somehow, a minus-5 in that time though.