Playoffs 2021

NBA Playoffs 2021: Nate McMillan credits Lou Williams' hot hand and team's fight for incredible Game 5 comeback

For the second straight game, the Hawks stun the 76ers and this time they do it in Philadelphia.

"I really have no words to describe this comeback," Hawks head coach Nate McMillan said postgame.

Coming back from 26 down, Atlanta outscored Philadelphia 69-44 in the second half. The 109-106 Game 5 win gives the Hawks a 3-2 series lead.

"These guys just continue to show true character. Just no quit in these guys."

In Game 5, Atlanta not only pulled off the third-largest comeback in the last 25 postseasons but they did so after already coming from 18 down in the previous contest in Game 4.

"They continued to stay with what we were trying to do. We eventually found a hot hand in Lou [Williams] and found the rotation that was working for us."

Having not played more than 15 minutes in any game this postseason, Williams played 17 in the second half alone. Scoring all of his 15 in the second half, his hot hand combined with Trae Young's 25-point second half helped the Hawks make their comeback.

On the flip side, only two players in Joel Embiid (3-9 FGs) and Seth Curry (9-12 FGs) made a field goal in the second half for the 76ers while the rest went an 0-of-11.

"Well, its hard to," 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame when asked to put this loss into words. "It started at the beginning of the second half even though we kept the lead. I think we started with six turnovers in our first 10 possessions."

"We kind of exhaled and relaxed. The first unit was just good enough and Seth carried us in that stretch to keep the lead at 22 where it could have very easily been at 30 if we don't turn the ball over and the second group really struggled."

To Rivers' point, the 76ers committed 10 of their 15 turnovers in the second half. However, it wasn't just the second unit that found it hard to score.

Embiid, who scored 24 of his 37 in the first half, and Curry, who scored 25 of his 36 in the second half, combined for 73 points in total but no other Philadelphia player finished in double figures.

The wing duo of Tobias Harris and Furkan Korkmaz only combined for 12 points on 4-of-18 shooting while the bench only gave them 13 points while the Hawks reserves gave them 39.

Whatever it is that went wrong, giving up leads of 18 and 26, the 76ers only have a day off to figure things out and keep their season alive in Game 6, which is scheduled for Friday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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