'Hard to watch': Ben Simmons booed in ugly NBA Playoffs moment

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
A 50-50 image shows Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid playing for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid's struggles at the free throw line didn't help matters as the Philadelphia 76ers blew a double-digit lead to the Atlanta Hawks to fall behind in their series, 3-2. Pictures: TNT/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers fans booed their team off the court after an ugly NBA Playoff capitulation against the Atlanta Hawks, who took a 3-2 series lead on Thursday.

The 76ers coughed up a 22-point half time lead to lose 109-106 and face elimination on the road against a Hawks team that has defied expectations.

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It was the second double-digit lead surrendered by the 76ers in as many games, with the Hawks erasing a 14-point deficit to tie the series in game four.

After a worrisome performance in Game 4, Sixers star Joel Embiid played the first 11 minutes of Wednesday's Eastern Conference semifinal, scored 17 points on 8-of-8 shooting, dominated defensively, stared down Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela, warranting a technical foul, and grabbed a seat on the bench with a +17 rating and a 38-21 edge.

The game, for all intents and purposes, should have been over.

Only, the Hawks threw a counterpunch that stunned the Sixers.

Philadelphia led by 25 points at the 3:19 mark of the third quarter (83-58), and Atlanta closed Game 5 out on a 51-23 run — including a 14-0 sprint to the finish — to secure a 109-106 win and head home with a chance to close the series out.

The disastrous result lead to fans booing the team off the court after the game.

Australian star Ben Simmons' poor free throw shooting once again came under the spotlight, with the former first over all pick going a measly 5-14 from the line.

He and Embiid struggled to hit free throws down the stretch, with Embiid missing a pair of crucial shots in the final minute.

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The costly misses earned Simmons and Embiid the disapproval of NBA legend Magic Johnson.

Plenty of other NBA fans were frustrated with the Sixers blowing another chance to win.

The Sixers were stunned, and their fans let them hear it, booing throughout a four-minute scoring drought and littering center court with debris.

Trae Young led the Hawks with 39 points and seven assists. John Collins posted another double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds).

Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari combined for 31 points on 21 shots off the bench.

The Philadelphia 76ers walk off the floor after their loss to the Atlanta Hawks in game five of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
The Sixers have to win on the road against Atlanta later this week of face elimination from the NBA Playoffs. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

"We keep fighting no matter what the score is. I'm proud of this team," Young said.

"We have confidence in each other. We all love each other's company and it shows on the court. We never stop believing until the final buzzer goes off."

Joel Embiid scored 17 points in the first quarter and had the Sixers on their way toward a romp with a 26-point lead in the first half.

They still led 87-69 at the end of the third before they collapsed.

Williams, Gallinari and Young opened the fourth on a huge run against the Sixers' second unit and kept attacking once 76ers coach Doc Rivers was forced to put the starters in and save the lead.

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