Following his dreadful performance in Game 2, Tobias Harris looked set for another stinker after two quick fouls forced him to the bench in the first quarter of Game 6. He quickly turned things around in the second quarter, though, by scoring 12 points to help the 76ers peck at the Hawks lead.
Harris ended the game tied for the team-high with 24 points on 45% shooting. This was not his best performance, but it did help restore faith in Philadelphia’s No. 2 offensive option heading into Game 7.
In addition to Harris’s bounce-back performance, the Sixers received a surprising contribution from Tyrese Maxey. The 2020 first-round pick brought pop and playmaking off the bench that Philadelphia had sorely been missing the past few games.
Maxey only made his way onto the court because Ben Simmons got into trouble, but his 16 points may have helped him earn some more time moving forward.
After seeing Philadelphia collapse to end Games 4 and 5, Atlanta fans had to feel good when their team ended the first quarter of Game 6 up 29-22. A scoring blitz by the 76ers to open the third quarter proved to be too much for Atlanta, though.
In the first three minutes of the second half, Philadelphia went on an 11-0 run to build a 10-point lead. The Hawks weren’t able to climb back from such a deficit.
To turn things around in Game 7, Atlanta will need better play from John Collins. In the Hawks’ wins in this series, Collins is averaging 18 points and shooting 63.6% from 3-point range. In their losses, he averages just 12.7 points and is 0-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Collins still can provide value defensively and through rebounding on nights that he’s off offensively. The 76ers’ defense is elite, though, so the Hawks need him to make shots and help open up the floor.
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The other offensive weapon who disappeared for Atlanta is Bogdan Bogdanovic.
In the first four games of the series, Bogdanovic averaged 19 points and shot 36.1% from behind the arc. In the past two, though, he has scored just 6.5 points per game and made one of his 10 3-point attempts.
Nate McMillan has been forced to drop Bogdanovic’s time on the court to just 25 minutes per game because of his poor play, and the Serbian left Game 6 with a knee injury. It sounds like he will be a game-time decision for Game 7.