Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 8th 2023

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The Philadelphia 76ers will hope to ride the momentum of Joel Embiid’s 50-point performance into their game against the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

Embiid, who missed the previous two games due to illness, racked up the sixth 50-point game of his career despite not feeling 100 percent in a 131-126 road win against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

“Man, my chest was hurting,” said Embiid, who added 13 rebounds and seven assists.

“I was pretty much struggling. But I’m much better than I was. It was pretty bad. I would imagine the last two games were really helpful because in the first practice, I could not go up and down more than twice. And then (Tuesday), it was much better. In the second half, I started feeling much better. So I would imagine that (Thursday), I’ll get on the floor again and push myself. And then Friday, I would imagine that I’ll feel good.”

Having the reigning NBA MVP available is always a huge advantage for the Sixers.

Tyrese Maxey returned from a one-game absence to score 26 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 12 in his first game since sustaining a broken rib and other undisclosed injuries after being struck by a vehicle on Nov. 11.

It was Embiid who provided clutch baskets in the final two minutes to will the Sixers to a victory.

“That’s our safety valve — offensively, defensively,” Maxey said of Embiid. “That’s why he’s the MVP, to be honest with you. He covers up for a lot of our mistakes defensively. And then offensively, sometimes he can bail us out late in the clock and make some shots.”

The Hawks dropped their second straight game and fourth in five outings with a 114-113 setback to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

Trae Young led the way with 30 points and nine assists, Saddiq Bey scored 21 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 20.

The Hawks had a chance to win before Mikal Bridges knocked down a step-back jumper with 4.5 seconds remaining.

“I’ve played a lot of games in this league so far,” said Young, who launched an off-balance shot off the rim as the buzzer sounded. “I understand it’s just one game. You’ve got to flush it. As terrible as the end result is, you’ve got to flush it and try to learn from it.”

Young pleaded with the referees for a foul on the last shot but nothing was whistled.

The Hawks’ largest lead was seven in the see-saw game. The challenge won’t get any easier when they travel to Philadelphia.

“Tough to lose the game on the final possession,” Hawks head coach Quin Snyder said. “I thought we played as well defensively as we have in a while. You’d like that effort to be rewarded with a win.”

De’Andre Hunter contributed 14 points and Clint Capela was active on the boards with 12 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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