The Philadelphia 76ers were set up to get a win on Sunday in Game 7 at home as they had the momentum from getting a road win in Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks to get to this point. It was right there for them to take, but they were not able to take advantage of it in a 103-96 loss on Sunday.
The frustrating part for Philadelphia was that they did a great job on Hawks star Trae Young as he shot just 5-for-23 from the floor. The Sixers used their length and their discipline on the screens to be able to bother and frustrate him all night.
However, as they focused on Young, that allowed Kevin Huerter to get his a bit. The team’s young guard out of Maryland had 27 points and seven rebounds as he shot 10-for-18 from the floor in a big performance for his team.
Huerter was defended by Seth Curry for the most part as the two shooters went at each other all night, but coach Doc Rivers did think about sending help towards him when he got hot.
“We tried,” said Rivers. “He was getting late clock shots a lot, late in the clock, they were swinging it to him. Some of those shots Huerter made were just really tough shots.
Most of Huerter’s shots came in tough moments over good contests over Curry, Tobias Harris, George Hill, and Matisse Thybulle as well. Huerter really just had a big night and it came at a time when the Hawks needed him the most.
“He made a couple over Tobias, he made one over George,” Rivers added. “Give him credit. The kid struggled in Game 6 and was phenomenal tonight, made big shots. He was really like the deciding factor in this game clearly.”
One of the bigger factors in the game was when Thybulle fouled Huerter on a triple with less than a minute to go. Harris had just scored to bring the Sixers to within one, but then Thybulle fouled Huerter and he went to the line and knocked down all three free throws to put Atlanta back up by four.
When asked about the foul afterward, Thybulle just said: “Unfortunate contact.”
The Sixers now head into the offseason with more questions they have to answer after another Round 2 exit.
This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!