Monday's NBA playoffs: Young leads Hawks' rally past Sixers with Embiid hurting
Atlanta — Trae Young tried to reassure Atlanta coach Nate McMillan after it became clear the Hawks point guard was hiding a sore shoulder.
McMillan had no complaints after Young lifted the Hawks to a crucial win over top-seeded Philadelphia.
Young overcame a cold start to score 25 points, including a floater that gave Atlanta the lead with 1:17 remaining, and the Hawks rallied to beat the 76ers 103-100 on Monday night, tying the Eastern Conference semifinal at 2-2.
Young's right shoulder was taped, which McMillan saw for the first time when the point guard took off his warmups before the game.
“He kind of gave me a look like he didn’t know about it,” Young said. “I told him ‘We’re fine, we’re good, let’s go win.’"
Philly blew an 18-point lead and may have bigger concerns: Big man Joel Embiid spent time in the locker room in the second quarter and was 0-for-12 from the field in the second half.
“Even before I went back to the locker room I felt like I didn’t have it,” Embiid said.
Embiid is playing with torn cartilage in his right knee.
“I guess it’s already known,” Embiid said, confirming the knee was what caused him to leave the bench. “There’s no need to explain myself anymore. I’m just trying to do the best I can.”
Embiid finished with 17 points and 21 rebounds.
“I’ve coached a lot of games where guys haven’t had it all night but they’re still your guys,” coach Doc Rivers said, adding he would take Embiid "whether you've got it going or not.”
Philadelphia guard Seth Curry said Embiid "was pressing maybe a little bit."
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points for the Hawks, and John Collins had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Young made only 8 of 26 shots but had 18 assists, matching his career high.
“This team never gives up, no matter what the score is,” Young said. “I love the way we fight and I’m proud of our team tonight.”
Game 5 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
Tobias Harris scored 20 points for the Sixers and Curry had 17, missing a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Sixers led 60-42 late in the first half but Atlanta chipped away in the third quarter. Bogdanovic opened the final period with a 3-pointer to give Atlanta its first lead of the half, 83-82.
Young's floater with 1:17 remaining gave Atlanta a 99-98 lead, and his two free throws pushed the advantage to three.
The Hawks hung on from there, catching a break when Embiid missed a layup and the Sixers knocked the ball out of bounds with 7.8 seconds remaining.
Young missed his first five shots from the field and had his right shoulder wrapped with a heating pad when he sat on the bench early in the second quarter.
“When he took off his warmup, it was the first I saw that,” McMillan said. “Obviously there’s something going on with his shoulder but he hasn’t complained. He was missing some shots that he normally makes ... but he stayed with it. He’s a tough kid.”
Young's frustration showed when he complained after being called for a foul on Embiid in the second quarter, leading to a technical.
Embiid made a 3 after his time in the locker room. But he finished 4 of 20 from the floor — hardly the production the Sixers need from their star, who shot 51.3% in the regular season.
Ben Simmons was called for a flagrant-one foul after he hit Collins to stop Collins' attempt for a breakaway jam with 3:24 remaining in the third.
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Clippers 118, Jazz 104
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George each scored 31 points — the second straight game they have both had over 30 points — and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Utah Jazz 118-104 on Monday night to even their Western Conference second-round series at two games apiece.
Leonard provided the highlight of the night with his dunk late in the second quarter. He got the ball just beyond the 3-point line, drove past Royce O’Neale in the lane and then slammed it over Derrick Favors to give the Clippers a 62-38 lead with 1:24 remaining in the second quarter.
Leonard and George have each scored at least 20 points in all 11 games this postseason. They are just the third duo in NBA history to do that in a team’s first 11 playoff games and the first since Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant with the Lakers in 2003.
Jerry West, who watched Monday’s game from courtside, and Elgin Baylor were the other duo with the 1962 Lakers.
Marcus Morris added 24 points and went 5 of 6 on 3-pointers for fourth-seeded Los Angeles. Game 5 is Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 37 points, making him the first player since Golden State’s Stephen Curry in 2019 to have six straight 30-point games in the playoffs.
Joe Ingles added 19 and Bojan Bogdanovic 18 for the top-seeded Jazz, who has lost back-to-back playoff games for the first time this year.
Utah won the tip and scored on Bogdanovic's dunk before the Clippers scored the next 10 points and never looked back as Leonard had five points during the early run.
LA's largest lead in the first quarter was 19 as it was 6 of 12 on 3-pointers and forced six Utah turnovers.
Morris hit a pair of free throws with 5:21 remaining to put the Clippers up 51-22, which was their largest lead of the night. They had a 24-point advantage at halftime (68-44), which is tied for their second biggest in postseason franchise history.
LA led 105-85 with 6:48 remaining before the Jazz countered with a 17-7 run to cut it in half with 2:10 left.