Joel Embiid Drops 28, Late Go-Ahead Bucket as 76ers Outlast Trae Young, Hawks

Erin WalshDecember 4, 2021

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 3: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on December 3, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers bounced back from an 88-87 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday with a 98-96 win over the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on Friday night. 

Philly had lost three of its last four games entering Friday's contest, and Joel Embiid played an important role in helping the team get back on track. With the win, the Sixers improved to 12-11 on the season. 

Notable Stats

Joel Embiid, C, PHI: 28 PTS, 14 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK

Seth Curry, SG, PHI: 18 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL

Trae Young, PG, ATL: 25 PTS, 4 REB, 10 AST, 1 BLK

Trae Young Continues to Impress Despite Loss

Young will always be a topic of discussion when the Hawks play, and he was arguably the best player on the court on Friday night. The 23-year-old opened up the first quarter with six points, two rebounds, three assists and one block, which led the team.

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Gettin' things started with a tough bucket ❄️ <a href="https://t.co/jYWo5DPPsI">pic.twitter.com/jYWo5DPPsI</a>

He added another eight points and two assists in the second quarter. However, Danilo Gallinari was Atlanta's most effective scorer just before halftime, notching nine points off the bench to close out the half.

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Pull up then, Ice! <a href="https://t.co/6bzpX4sbEP">pic.twitter.com/6bzpX4sbEP</a>

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Creates space.<br>Splash. 💦 <a href="https://t.co/xolWK1gQbA">pic.twitter.com/xolWK1gQbA</a>

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Gallo with the DIME 🤯 <a href="https://t.co/IYFCno3ovf">pic.twitter.com/IYFCno3ovf</a>

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Gallo had 13 points off the bench in the first half 🔥<br><br>Presented by <a href="https://twitter.com/Verizon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Verizon</a> <a href="https://t.co/neOpKxBwBI">pic.twitter.com/neOpKxBwBI</a>

Young continued his dominance in the third quarter, adding seven points, two rebounds and five assists before closing things out in the fourth quarter with just four points. 

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

TOUGHHHH 🥶 <a href="https://t.co/23YeJi4AUI">pic.twitter.com/23YeJi4AUI</a>

The former All-Star entered Friday night's game having scored at least 30 points in each of his last five games, tied for the longest streak of his fledgling career.

Young continues to have a significant impact for Atlanta, averaging 26.3 points, 9.1 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from deep entering Friday's game.

If the Oklahoma product continues to play well, the Hawks could become one of the most dangerous teams in the Eastern Conference. Though they fell just short against the 76ers, strong performances from John Collins and Gallinari were promising signs that the team has the pieces to build upon their surprising conference finals run last season.

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

❌ Nope. ❌ <a href="https://t.co/xmAYT7EFLL">pic.twitter.com/xmAYT7EFLL</a>

Atlanta Hawks @ATLHawks

Let it fly, JC. <a href="https://t.co/sb5ZAEDoMg">pic.twitter.com/sb5ZAEDoMg</a>

Joel Embiid Helps Lead Fourth Quarter Comeback

While Embiid is still very clearly trying to find his footing after missing nine games with COVID-19, the veteran big man had an impressive performance.

The 27-year-old opened up the game with eight points, five rebounds and one assist.

However, Embiid wasn't as effective in the second quarter, putting up just four points, one rebound and an assist just before halftime.

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

big fella, big jam. <a href="https://t.co/7Pcg8amDDd">pic.twitter.com/7Pcg8amDDd</a>

Embiid continued his impressive night into the third quarter, putting up 10 points, four rebounds, one assist and a block before finishing the fourth quarter with six points, two rebounds and an assist. 

His most important play came with just under 43 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the score tied at 96. Embiid pulled up from 13 feet and hit the jumper over Clint Capela to give the 76ers a lead they would never relinquish.

All things considered, Embiid had a great night after hitting just 21.2 percent of field goal attempts over the last two games.

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

the feed to Embiid. 🍽 <a href="https://t.co/H36jEZM2jy">pic.twitter.com/H36jEZM2jy</a>

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

2️⃣➕1️⃣ for number 21. <a href="https://t.co/ATYTWm9vIq">pic.twitter.com/ATYTWm9vIq</a>

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

2/10 seen here. <a href="https://t.co/Uo9PpN5LIK">https://t.co/Uo9PpN5LIK</a> <a href="https://t.co/U1LBieF8Bn">pic.twitter.com/U1LBieF8Bn</a>

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

made the fade. <a href="https://t.co/eHnlvFgHqC">pic.twitter.com/eHnlvFgHqC</a>

While Embiid was impressive on Friday, the Sixers needed more out of Tyrese Maxey and Danny Green despite the win. The duo combined for 21 points, six rebounds and five assists. 

Granted, Philadelphia was without Tobias Harris with a non-COVID-19-related illness. The 29-year-old has been averaging 19.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field. Nonetheless, it was a gritty victory for a 76ers team missing one of their best players.

What's Next?

The Hawks will host the Hornets on Sunday, and the Sixers will be on the road again to face Charlotte on Monday.