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The Sixers collapse against the Hawks will live in infamy

A legendary failure.

Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Five Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

If you turned off Game 5 between the Hawks and Sixers at halftime, I get it. Heck, even the Sixers were out there boasting about their 22-point lead.

I can’t believe it’s 2021 and we still need to remind teams about celebrating early, but once again for those in the back: YOU NEVER CELEBRATE EARLY!

When you start looking ahead to bedtime with two quarters left, bad things happen — and the collapse on Wednesday night was a stunningly beautiful fourth quarter breakdown. One the Hawks had a TON of fun with when it was all over.

The Sixers were up 85-63 with 14 minutes left in the game. That’s when Trae Young, Lou Williams, and the rest of the Hawks began a comeback that defies logic.

The Hawks would win, 109-106, to take a commanding 3-2 series lead as the teams had back to Atlanta for Game 6. The Hawks are now one win away from the conference finals.

Just look at how dramatic the shift in this game was from a win probability standpoint.

This wasn’t just a second-half comeback, not really — this was a six-minute explosion. Philadelphia’s collapse is one of the most embarrassing performances in modern NBA history, and that still might undersell it.

  • With 6:25 left on the clock the Sixers were up by 14 points.
  • With 3:00 left they were up by 6.
  • From 4:23 left on the clock to 0.01 when Seth Curry made a jumper, Philadelphia scored two points.
  • Over this same 4:23 time span Trae Young scored nine points.
  • In the final five minutes of the game the Sixers went 1-7 from the field.
  • Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were 0-4 on free throws in the final four minutes.

It was a complete, soul-crushing, glorious collapse that Atlanta just seems to be accustomed to being involved in, just not in basketball, and on the other end of the spectrum.

Even more hilarious is that both Wednesday night’s game against the Sixers, and the infamous Super Bowl collapse had the leading team with a 99.7 percent chance of winning. The Hawks have now stolen Game 5 away, with a chance to close it out at home — and statistically the winner of Game 5 in a tied series goes on to win 82 percent of the time.

Sports are so beautiful.