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Philadelphia 76ers vs Atlanta Hawks - Game FourATLANTA, GEORGIA – JUNE 14: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks draws a foul as he drives against Tobias Harris #12 and Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half of game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at State Farm Arena on June 14, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo : Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Hawks launched a stunning second half fightback to record a thrilling 103-100 victory over the Philadelphia Sixers in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series Monday night. Trae Young and the Hawks battled back from 18 points down to even the Eastern Conference Semifinal series at two games apiece.

Sixers squander chance to take 3-1 series lead

The first half of Game 4 went exactly the same way as Games 2 and 3 with Philadelphia dominating Atlanta on both ends of the floor. Behind the outstanding play of Ben Simmons, the Sixers went on a fast start, eventually building a 62-49 advantage at the half-time interval. The 76ers were lights out from beyond the arc during this period, connecting on 7 of 11 three-point attempts for a high 63.6 percent clip.

Seth Curry scored 13 points on 3 of 5 shooting from deep while Tobias Harris was the team’s leading scorer during the first half with 14 points, including two made 3-pointers. It was Joel Embiid and Simmons, however, who led the way for Philadelphia with their aggressive play. Embiid already had a double-double before the break with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Simmons was a force on both ends, registering eight points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists in the first half. The Sixers as a unit shot 55.2 percent from the field during the opening half.

Unfortunately for the Sixers, they weren’t able to sustain their high-intensity play with Atlanta taking full advantage in the second half.  The Hawks sliced the deficit to two points at the end of the third quarter and regained the advantage with a Bogdan Bogdanovic 3-pointer at the start of the fourth period that gave Atlanta an 83-82 lead.

Related Article: 2021 NBA Playoffs: Phoenix Suns sweep Denver Nuggets for first Western Finals stint since 2010

Trae Young takes charge in Game 4

The game went back and forth thereafter with the Sixers and Hawks trading leads and baskets the rest of the quarter. The Sixers held a 98-94 lead before John Collins’ 3-pointer cut the advantage to one point. Trae Young then took over, scoring a floater with 1:17 remaining to give the Hawks a 99-98 advantage. He then scored two free throws when fouled by Embiid that pushed Atlanta’s lead to three points, 101-98.

The Sixers responded, though, cutting the Hawks’ lead to one thanks to Embiid’s two free throws. They had an opportunity to regain the lead in the dying seconds but Embiid missed a wide-open attempt underneath the basket. After Young scored a pair of free throws on the other end, Seth Curry missed a game-tying three-pointer as time expired to give Atlanta the much-needed Game 4 win. Young overcame a cold start in Game 4, finishing the contest with 25 points and 18 assists.

Quite concerning for the Sixers heading into the pivotal Game 5 is the injury situation of Joel Embiid. The Sixers big man, who’s playing with a torn cartilage in his right knee, looked out of sorts in the second half as he didn’t score a single field goal during this period. Embiid spent time in the locker room in the second quarter and wasn’t effective after, finishing the game with just a 20 percent shooting clip, burying just 4 of 20 field goal attempts.

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