Tobias Harris and Seth Curry led the way for Philly, as they both scored 24 points, while Joel Embiid added 22 points and 13 rebounds. The Sixers also got a huge boost off the bench from Tyrese Maxey, who played 29 minutes and had 16 points and seven rebounds. On the other side of the court, Trae Young has been excellent for Atlanta because he’s been in every playoff. He finished the game with 34 points and 12 assists, but ultimately his production was not enough to propel the Hawks to victory. Kevin Huerter also added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta.
The loss was difficult for the Hawks, who had the opportunity to close the series in front of their home audience. Before the game, they had all the momentum of the series after securing back-to-back wins. Now that momentum has returned to the Sixers. Neither team can afford to dwell on this one for too long, as Game 7 kicks off in less than 48 hours on Sunday night. Before we get into that game, here’s a look at the top three takeaways from Philadelphia’s Game 6 victory.
1. Main minutes of Maxey
Prior to Game 6, Sixers rookie goaltender Tyrese Maxey had played 33 total minutes in the series against the Hawks. But, when the Sixers needed a spark after falling behind in the game early in the game, Maxey was ready to deliver. Maxey came into the game a little less than halfway through the first period and immediately gave Philly a big boost. He went 3 on 3 from the floor and scored six points in that opening quarter to keep the Sixers in the game while other key contributors struggled to produce points. He was also important for Philadelphia in the fourth quarter. During this last period, he played more than 10 minutes and scored seven points, including four free throws that sealed the game in the home stretch. In total, Maxey played 29 minutes and finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. He also peaked at +12 during his time on the ground.
After the game, Tobias Harris said Maxey was “the spark of the game for the Sixers,” and he was right. Not only did Maxey give the Sixers a big boost offensively, but he also did a solid job defending Trae Young on the other side. Maxey spent a lot of time on Young on the home stretch, and Young only shot 2 of 9 in the last quarter.
Given how well he performed in Game 6, Maxey will likely be back online for the major minutes of Game 7.
2. Trae Young continues to make history in the playoffs
It looks like Trae Young set some sort of NBA playoff record in virtually every game of these playoffs, and Game 6 was no exception. Prior to the game, Young had scored or assisted on 536 points for the Hawks in their first 10 games, which was the most a player has ever recorded in his first 10 career playoff games.
In Game 6, Young had over 20 points and over 7 assists for the 11th straight game, which tied the record for the longest such streak in NBA playoff history. John Wall did it from 2015 to 2017 as well, but Young’s streak is more impressive considering it occurred in the same playoff series and occurred in all 11. Young’s first career playoff games.
Young’s production was not enough in Game 6, but the fact that he played so well in his first playoff glimpse is impressive nonetheless.
3. Seth Curry continues filming for Philadelphia
We usually see a Curry cook on the court during the month of June. However, in the past it was Stephen Curry who did the cooking. This time it was Seth. Seth has been on fire every playoff against Atlanta, and Game 6 was no different. After losing a career-high 36 playoff points (on 13 of 19 shots) in Game 5, Curry went on to drop 24 points on 8 of 14 shots in Game 6. Curry’s numbers for the series are breathtaking. :
In the opening minutes of the third quarter, Curry hit three straight 3-pointers to put the Sixers in the lead – a lead they wouldn’t give up.
Seth was shooting so well that even his brother couldn’t help but be impressed.
When you have the guy who’s pretty much universally accepted as the best shooter ever tweeting about your shot, you know you’re doing something right. Now the Sixers just have to hope that Curry can continue to stay warm in Game 7, and potentially beyond.