The Atlanta Hawks continue their Summer League journey in the desert, and on Thursday night they battled the Philadelphia 76ers. Jalen Johnson and Sharife Cooper looked to continue their fantastic showings thus far in Summer League. The Hawks hope to maintain dominance over the 76ers, keeping that momentum from the 2021 playoffs.
The game kicked off with a set-play that ended on a beautiful alley-oop from the Hawks two most recent draft picks, keen to show off their quickly ripening chemistry.
First possession of the game?— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) August 13, 2021
The Hawks’ top 2021 draft pick, Johnson, showed some amazing skills on both sides of the floor. Defensively, he had very flexible hips defending the pick & roll, navigated multiple picks and stayed on his man, he also managed to block a couple shots. Offensively, he hit a three, caught a lob, caught a putback dunk, and made a nice passing read off a short roll for an open three. Hawks fans should be very excited by the touch and feel for the game that they’ve seen from Jalen Johnson thus far. I mean, look at this:
Johnson and Cooper led this summer version of the Hawks to a 23-14 lead after the first quarter; Johnson and Cooper each contributed seven points, with six rebounds and two assists, respectively. The Hawks ended the quarter on a 16-6 run.
Most of the 2nd quarter was the Skylar Mays show, but the Hawks two new rookies came back into the game with a little over five minutes left, the score at 29-21. The Sixers offense struggled for the majority of the second frame, due to some good defensive switching schemes and even some 3-2 zone looks from the Hawks.
The first half ended in the Hawks favor by a score of 43-35, with Skylar Mays leading all scorers with 14.
The third quarter was when the Sixers found their groove, with Paul Reed and Isaiah Joe taking over offensively. Philadelphia were able to even the score by the end of the 3rd quarter at 64-64. There were some acrobatic heroics at the end of the 3rd quarter for the Hawks, as a broken play ended with a buzzer beater.
The fourth quarter was largely back and forth between the two teams. Both offenses were able to penetrate and get easy shots in the paint. Tyrese Maxey took over down the stretch, hitting shots in the interior and from outside. But it was Cooper with the late game spark of genius required to pull the Hawks level, getting a hard-fought bucket in the paint to tie the game at 86.
Four quarters were not enough to decide the score for these teams, so overtime was required to split the difference.
Unfortunately, that difference fell in favor of the 76ers, as they dominated the Hawks defensively, with the Hawks scoring only 2 points in the overtime period.
Philadelphia took the victory 96-88 behind 31 points from Maxey. Paul Reed added 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers. Cooper finished with 21 points and 12 assists for Atlanta, with Skylar Mays adding 20 points. Johnson finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.