Sport NBA playoffs 2021: 'Underdog mentality' key to another Hawks stunner
NBA playoffs 2021: Suns thrash Lakers but Paul re-injured, Nets clinch Celtics series
The Phoenix Suns blew the Los Angeles Lakers out of the water in the first half but lost Chris Paul to another shoulder injury.Devin Booker top scored for the Suns with 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Suns move within one win of knocking out the reigning champions.
Trae Young says the Atlanta Hawks have taken an "underdog mentality" into their series against the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers, and their approach certainly seems to be working.
The Hawks mounted an impressive comeback for the second consecutive game to stun the Sixers 109-106 in Philadelphia on Wednesday and take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semi-final series.
Trailing by as many as 26 points in the third quarter in Game 5 after fighting back from 18 down to win Game 4, the Hawks never think they are out of a game.
"You talk about an underdog -- for a team that has no All-Stars, no All-Defensive players, no All-NBA players, this team is fighting," said Young, who led all scorers with 39 points.
Gobert continues the adventure
© provided by Sports.co.uk Basketball - NBA (Play-offs): Utah, Philadelphia and Qualified Atlanta, Dallas resumes hand against Clippers we see more clearly! For the first time since the kickoff of these NBA 2021 play-offs, this same night on Wednesday has indeed allowed three teams to qualify for the next round.
"We're in the second round of the playoffs and I think we've just had that chip on our shoulder all year. ... We're playing with that underdog mentality."
26-point comeback W
3-2 ATL series lead
Game 6: Friday at 7:30pm/et on ESPN— NBA (@NBA)
A year after finishing at 20-47, the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks are now one win away from a spot in the conference finals.
"We haven't finished the job yet. We've still got one more game we've got to do," said Young.
"Thankfully we're going back home playing in front of our fans and on our court. It's going to be fun."
Added Atlanta's interim head coach Nate McMillan, who replaced the fired Lloyd Pierce on March 1: "If you don't believe, you better believe now."
NBA playoffs 2021: Kawhi's Clippers advance to Conference semis, Embiid's return not enough for 76ers in Hawks opener
The Los Angeles Clippers booked their spot in the second round as the Philadelphia 76ers lost their semi-final opener.A deciding game was needed in the opening-round series after Leonard erupted for 45 points to help the Clippers avoid elimination in the NBA playoffs on Friday.
On the other side, the 76ers were trying to maintain their belief after a second consecutive disappointment.
Ben Simmons told reporters he believed the team got "too comfortable" with their second-half lead and slowed the game down too much.
"We weren't pushing the ball as much, weren't moving as much. We've got to be consistent," he said.
"Even if we do get that lead, we can't be happy with that. We've got to keep going, we've got to act like the game's 0-0."
Still, Simmons said, the 76ers know the series is far from over.
This one stings, this one hurts, but we've got to do our job and get the win in Atlanta," he said.
"We're obviously capable of doing that; we know what we're capable of as a team. We've just got to go do it."
NBA playoffs 2021: Hawks' Young questionable for Game 4 against Bucks .
Trae Young is dealing with a foot problem ahead of Tuesday's clash with the Milwaukee Bucks.Young hurt his ankle in the third quarter of Sunday's 113-102 defeat as the Milwaukee Bucks claimed a 2-1 series lead in the NBA playoffs.