Nobody gave them a chance, but don’t tell that to the Atlanta Hawks.
The fifth-seeded Hawks went on the road and defeated the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers, 103-96, in Game 7 on their Eastern Conference semifinals series on Sunday.
With the win, the Hawks will play Milwaukee – winners over Brooklyn in Game 7 – in the Eastern Conference finals. It was the second consecutive East semifinals series that went the distance and the road team won Game 7. It was Atlanta’s fifth road victory of the playoffs and third in the series against Philadelphia.
Trae Young made a late 3-pointer and scored 21 points to help Atlanta win its third game on the road in the series. It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Hawks who just a couple months ago had a 14-20 record and were 11th in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta has now reached the conference finals for just the second time since the franchise history, since they moved to Atlanta in 1968. They will now take on the Bucks and look to get to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
This marked only the second year since 1973 — when the NBA began seeding for the playoffs by conference — when neither No. 1 seed will make the conference finals. Utah, the No. 1 seed in the West, was eliminated by the Clippers.