Huerter poured in a career playoffs high 27 points as the Hawks upset the 76ers on the road in Game 7 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
In a do-or-die Game 7 in hostile territory, the Hawks likely planned to lean on their do-it-all point guard Trae Young to guide them into the conference finals.
The superstar guard could not find his rhythm all night. Thanks to Kevin Huerter, though, it didn’t matter.
Huerter scored a playoff career-high 27 points on 10-for-18 shooting as Atlanta took down the 76ers, 103-96, in Sunday night’s Game 7. The win propels the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2015.
Young had a horrendous shooting night, going 5-for-23 from the field and 2-for-11 on three-point attempts, but finished with 21 points and 10 assists. Danilo Gallinari had 17 points off the bench, while forward John Collins scored 14 points with 16 rebounds.
Neither side ever found its groove offensively. The Hawks shot 7-for-27 on three-pointers (25.9%), while Philadelphia was 9-for-28 (32.1%) with 17 turnovers. The game went back-and-forth the entire night, with no lead reaching more than seven points.
Sixers center Joel Embiid led the charge for Philadelphia once again, scoring 31 points with 11 rebounds, though he also had a team-high eight turnovers. Tobias Harris added 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Seth Curry scored 16 on 6-for-10 shooting.
Point guard Ben Simmons struggled again, scoring just five points on four shot attempts. He also added 13 assists and eight rebounds, and did not attempt a free throw until the game’s final two minutes.
For the series, Simmons attempted only three field goals in the fourth quarter, with his last shot in the final period coming in Game 3.
The Hawks move on to face the Bucks in the conference finals. The Hawks have not appeared in the NBA Finals since 1958, when the team was in St. Louis. The Bucks, meanwhile, last made it to the NBA Finals in 1974.
More NBA Playoffs Coverage:
- Devin Booker’s 40-Point Triple-Double Leads Suns Past Clippers in Game 1
- Kevin Durant, Giannis Deliver Game 7 for the Ages
- Report: Celtics’ Stevens, Kemba Walker Had ‘Tension-Filled’ Relationship