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Sixers, Hawks advance in NBA playoffs

/ 11:06 AM June 03, 2021
Seth Curry #31 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots over Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards during the second quarter during Game Five of the Eastern Conference first round series at Wells Fargo Center on June 2, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Seth Curry of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots over Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards during the second quarter during Game Five of the Eastern Conference first round series at Wells Fargo Center on June 2, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Getty Images via AFP)

LOS ANGELES – The Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks advanced to an Eastern Conference semi-final showdown on Wednesday, wrapping up emphatic series victories over the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks.

Seth Curry’s 30-point display helped the Sixers shrug off the injury absence of Joel Embiid as the top seeds completed a 4-1 playoff series win with a 129-112 defeat of the Wizards in Philadelphia.

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In New York, the fifth-seeded Hawks brought the Knicks’ season to an end with a 103-89 victory at Madison Square Garden to clinch the best-of-seven series 4-1 after a bruising contest.

The Sixers and Hawks will now meet for a place in the Eastern Conference finals.

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The Sixers had been jolted by news earlier Wednesday that influential big Embiid had suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee after an awkward fall in game four on Monday.

But Doc Rivers’ side took care of business with a composed performance that sees them advance to an Eastern Conference semi-final showdown against either the Atlanta Hawks or New York Knicks.

“It was a great team win,” Sixers coach Rivers said afterward. “I just love how we played. We got down early, but no panic set in.

“They really believed they were the better team today. They played with that kind of confidence. It was what you would call an all hands in, team win for sure.”

After a tight first half, Philadelphia pulled clear in the third period, outscoring the Wizards 38-31.

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Bradley Beal #3 and Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards reach for the ball during the second quarter during Game Five of the Eastern Conference first round series at Wells Fargo Center on June 2, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Bradley Beal #3 and Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards reach for the ball during the second quarter during Game Five of the Eastern Conference first round series at Wells Fargo Center on June 2, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Getty Images via AFP)

Another burst of scoring midway through the fourth period sealed the contest, with Curry, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris scoring six unanswered points to put Philadelphia 118-100 ahead with just under six minutes to play.

Harris finished with 28 points while Simmons completed a triple double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Dwight Howard, Tyrese Maxey and Furkan Korkmaz also made double figures.

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Rivers reserved praise for Simmons performance. “I keep saying it — stick with him, he’s a hell of a player,” Rivers said. “He just does so much for the team, he really does.”

Bradley Beal led the Wizards scoring with 32 points while Russell Westbrook was unable to add another triple double to his season tally, falling just short with 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

In New York, Trae Young delivered a 36-point masterclass for Atlanta in an ill-tempered victory at the Garden.

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks drives past Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks in the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Eastern Conference first round series at Madison Square Garden on June 02, 2021 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   Wendell Cruz-Pool/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks drives past Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks in the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Eastern Conference first round series at Madison Square Garden on June 02, 2021 in New York City.  (Getty Images via AFP)

Players from both sides scuffled as they left the court at half-time in a game peppered with technical fouls.

Young led the Atlanta scorers with support from De’Andre Hunter (15 points) and John Collins (13). Clint Capela weighed in with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Julius Randle led the Knicks scoring with 23 points while R.J. Barrett had 17 points.

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TAGS: Atlanta Hawks, Curry, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Sixers
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