Post Up: Underdogs Take the Lead

A pair of series entered Wednesday night’s slate of games tied 2-2. The Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers took to Utah for Game 5, while the Philadelphia 76ers hosted the Atlanta Hawks.

No. 1 Philadelphia 76ers 106, No. 5 Atlanta Hawks 109

Atl leads 3-2

It looked like the 76ers had this game wrapped up early, taking a 26 point lead in the first half. But in the fourth quarter, the Hawks came roaring back to take a three-point win. Trae Young again led the Hawks in scoring, dropping 39 points, seven assists and three steals. The Hawks got good minutes from their bench, with Danilo Gallinari scoring 16 points and Lou Williams going for 15. John Collins had a 19 point, 11 rebound double-double, his second game in a row with a double-double.

The 76ers got monster games from Joel Embiid and Seth Curry. Embiid finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists, and Curry had 36 points, seven rebounds, and two steals. Unfortunately, Embiid and Curry were the only ones who made their presence known on offense. The duo were the only two 76ers players to score a field goal in the second half. No other player broke double-digit scoring; Ben Simmons and Furkan Korkmaz both got to eight points.

Now headed back to Atlanta, the 76ers will need to win this crucial Game 6 on Friday night to force a Game 7.

No. 1 Utah Jazz 111, No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers 119

LAC leads series 3-2

After news broke, concerns were plenty among Clippers fans that Kawhi Leonard would not be playing Wednesday night due to a knee injury. But Paul George would steal the highlights, sending the Clippers to a road game victory. George had a crazy night, going for a game-high 37 points and 16 rebounds while chipping in five assists and two blocks. Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. had strong evenings, with Morris going for 25 points and Jackson 22. As a team, the Clippers couldn’t miss, shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 40 percent from three.

The Jazz had a tough night defensively, struggling to contain George, but Donovan Mitchell had a night to forget. While his 21 points don’t jump out at you, his 6-for19 shooting splits are an eyesore. Bojan Bogdanovic had a lights-out shooting night to keep the Jazz in the game, scoring a team-high 32 points on 9-for-17 shooting from three-point range. The Jazz really missed Mike Conley, Mitchell, and Jordan Clarkson split point guard duties with limited success to replicate Conley’s impact.

Utah will have the chance to even the series on the road in LA in Game 6 on Friday night.