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Kevin Huerter leads Hawks past 76ers, into Eastern Conference Finals

Atlanta Hawks forward Kevin Huerter scored eight of his team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter of a Game 7 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday in Philadelphia. Photo by Alexander Jonesi/Flickr
Atlanta Hawks forward Kevin Huerter scored eight of his team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter of a Game 7 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday in Philadelphia. Photo by Alexander Jonesi/Flickr

June 21 (UPI) -- Kevin Huerter scored a team-high 27 points, and Trae Young hit a clutch 3-pointer in the final minutes to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a Game 7 win over the Philadelphia 76ers and into the Eastern Conference Finals.

Young made just 8 of 24 shots from the field, but his 29-foot trey with 2:31 remaining gave the Hawks a five-point lead in the eventual 103-96 win Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

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"We are happy we made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but we aren't' satisfied," Young told reporters.

Huerter made 10 of 18 shots in the win. Hawks forward John Collins scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. The game featured 20 lead changes and was tied 19 times.

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"I came into this game knowing I had to be aggressive, and luckily my first four shots went down, and I got that rhythm for the rest of the game," Huerter told reporters.

Sixers center Joel Embiid scored a game-high 31 points. All-Star guard Ben Simmons continued his slump, with just five points and four shot attempts.



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Embiid paced the Sixers early with 11 points in the first quarter. The Sixers took a 28-25 lead into the second quarter. The Hawks went on an 8-0 run to start the second frame and led 48-46 at halftime.

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The Sixers scored the first five points of the third frame to earn a 51-48 lead. They exchanged the advantage several times in the quarter, but the Hawks led 76-71 entering the final frame.

The Sixers started the fourth quarter on a 10-1 run to take an 81-77 lead with 7:46 remaining. Huerter and Young continued to make shots to answer attempts from Embiid and Sixers guard Seth Curry in the middle of the frame.

Huerter hit a turnaround jump shot with 3:48 remaining to give the Sixers an 88-86 lead. The Hawks never lost that advantage.

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Young threw an alley-oop dunk pass to Clint Capela to push the lead to three points. He hit his deep 3-pointer on the next possession, which gave the Hawks a late 93-87 edge.

A Simmons free throw and Tobias Harris layup cut the Hawks lead to 93-92 with 1:12 remaining, but Huerter made three free throws on the next possession. Danilo Gallinari added a dunk, and the Hawks made most of their free throws in the final seconds to ice the victory.

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"I think everybody is disappointed," Sixers coach Doc Rivers told reporters. "Give the Hawks credit. ... It was a muddy, ugly game.

"They made the right plays. We had 17 turnovers. We shot 75% from the free-throw line. They just had too many extra shots."

The Milwaukee Bucks host the Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at 8:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. The game airs on TNT. The winner of the series battles the Phoenix Suns or Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Finals.

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