The Atlanta Hawks hang on in overtime to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 139-132

On Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks survived an overtime thriller at home against the Philadelphia 76ers 139-132. The Hawks began a five-game homestand with a stellar performance from Jalen Johnson against a 76ers lineup without Joel Embiid. In the end, the Hawks prevailed in a closely contested game which they’ve struggled in at times this season.

Coming into the night the Hawks were up against the third-best team by defensive rating. The Hawks exploited that in the first quarter by scoring 20 points in the paints. Onyeka Okongwu got hot by notching nine points within the first 6 minutes of the game. The Hawks moved the ball well with 7 assists including a great open-look three-pointer by Dejounte Murray. The quarter ended 34-31 in the Hawks favor.

The 76ers responded in the second quarter by shooting a perfect seven-for-seven on free throws and three three-pointers shot by Marcus Morris. The Hawks quickly fell into a seven-point deficit five minutes into the quarter partly due to their seven turnovers. The Hawks fought back with Murray’s eight points but were stumped by a pair of technical fouls, one called for delay of game and another on Trae Young. The Hawks would finish the half trailing 61-64.

The Hawks battled in the third quarter unable to create a comfortable lead as the 76ers offense continued its consistency. Jalen Johnson grabbed his 11th rebound with 10:18 to go shortly before a controversial take foul was called on Young. Young intentionally fouled Tyrese Maxey as Saddiq Bey appeared to be injured along the baseline. Roughly two minutes later Young was called for a personal foul on Maxey that would then be challenged by Quin Snyder. Although the personal foul was overturned, referees ruled the foul was called during Maxey’s continuation and declared a goaltend on Okongwu’s attempt to block the shot. Two points would be recorded for the 76ers. They went on to score three straight layups off cuts and finished the quarter 95-98, Hawks still behind by three.

The Hawks started the fourth quarter well by converting their first three baskets for seven points. Soon after, the Hawks went up by five after a three-pointer by Johnson but the 76ers could not be put away. Like the third, both teams would frequent the free throw line attempting a combined 15 free throws in the quarter. The Hawks held a tight lead before the 76ers went up by four with 0:54 to play. Johnson then converted the and-one on a dunk to cut the deficit to one. Later, Young split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 125-125. He responded with a block on Maxey’s next attempt to force overtime.

In overtime, the Hawks and 76ers traded blows through the first three minutes. The score was separated by one possession until Maxey was called for his sixth foul with 1:44 to play. The 76ers would not score a basket for the remainder of the game. Shortly afterward, Johnson would score on a pair of free throws before hitting the go-ahead three-pointer with 0:41 to play. The Hawks finished the game on top 139-132.

In a narrow margin, the Hawks earned just their sixth home victory led by Johnson’s career night. Johnson finished the game with 16 rebounds, and seven steals, both career highs, along with 25 points. Despite Embiid’s absence, the Hawks were able to overcome the 76ers great defense by shooting 42 free throws and recording 32 assists. They also posted a 117.9 defensive rating, a small but notable improvement over their statistical average.

The Hawks will host the Indiana Pacers at home on Friday.

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