ATLANTA — Trae Young had just made his most ridiculous 3-pointer of the postseason, a leaning, fading to his right bomb from the sideline with Tyrese Maxey hounding his every dribble, the kind of shot that only superstar players make much less attempt in clutch minutes of a closeout game.
But Young had done it, pulling the Atlanta Hawks back within a point of the Philadelphia 76ers with just 1:59 on the clock. It felt like the moment that might just launch these improbable Hawks to a Game 6 win and the biggest upset of the playoffs, a staggering punch before the knockout blow in front of a standing-room only crowd that had spent two hours willing their team to clinch the series.
And then, just like that, it went dark at State Farm Arena. Literally.
As omens go, it was hard to know what exactly it meant. Were the Hawks about to turn the lights off on the 76ers for good? Or, was the switch about to flip on for a No. 1 seed that hadn’t played like it in this series?
Now, after Philadelphia stayed alive with a 103-99 win, we know for sure: A missed opportunity for Atlanta. A reprieve for 76ers, and a chance to walk from the darkness of their epic Game 5 collapse into the light of the Eastern Conference finals.
"We dropped the ball, obviously, and that stung for us as a whole group," 76ers forward Tobias Harris said. "We said, 'There’s going to be a lot of criticism, but we have to stay focused because the series isn't over.' It may have felt like that for a lot of people, but for us as a group, we have another game to win."
Now they have another, and perhaps a lot more than that.
Source: Read Full Article