Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks pulled off a stunning playoff comeback against the Philadelphia 76ers to move within a victory of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Young was fouled on a three-pointer and hit all three free throws with 1:26 left to cap a 26-point comeback and send Atlanta on their way to a 109-106 victory over the 76ers on Wednesday night in Game 5.
The Hawks won in Philadelphia for the second time in the series and can advance to the conference final for the first time since 2015 with a victory on Friday night in Atlanta.
Young scored 39 points and added to a postseason where he has become a breakout star. Joel Embiid scored 17 points in the first quarter and had the Sixers on their way toward a romp with a 26-point lead in the first half. They still led 87-69 at the end of the third before they collapsed. Embiid finished with 39 points, and Seth Curry had 36.
“We keep fighting no matter what the score is. I’m proud of this team,” Young said. “We have confidence in each other. We all love each other’s company and it shows on the court. We never stop believing until the final buzzer goes off.”
Elsewhere, Paul George scored 37 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a victory over the Jazz in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinals series.
Marcus Morris scored 25 points and Reggie Jackson added 22 for the Clippers. Los Angeles won its third straight game to push the top-seeded Jazz to the brink of elimination. The Clippers shot 51% from the field without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup.
Bojan Bogandovic scored 32 points – while making nine three-pointers– to lead Utah. Donovan Mitchell added 21 points. Rudy Gobert chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds. Six players scored in double figures for the Jazz.
Utah and Los Angeles will play Game 6 on Friday in Los Angeles.
The Jazz trailed the entire fourth quarter after making just six baskets in the third quarter. Utah cut the deficit to 100-97 when Mitchell converted a three-point play with 5:46 left. Jackson answered with back-to-back baskets to squelch a Jazz comeback. Utah could draw no closer after that point.