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NBA: Hawk’s Onyeka Okongwu makes case for starting role

NBA: Hawk’s Onyeka Okongwu makes case for starting role

Onyeka Okongwu scored 21 points as the Atlanta Hawks squeezed out a 127-121 win over the Philadelphia 76ers who are without All-Star Joel Embiid at Wells Fargo Center.

Okongwu who has deputized effectively for Clint Capela who is out as a result of a left adductor strain following an MRI scan aside from the 21 points also added eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal across 34 minutes.

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In his last five games, Okongwu scored 15 points against the Phoenix Suns, a season-high 22 points against the Golden State Warriors, 18 points against the LA Clippers, and 19 points against the Boston Celtics. Over his last seven games, the 23-year-old has averaged 16.6 PPG.

Onyeka Okongwu blocks Kenyon Martin Jr.

Guard Trae Young had a game-high 37 points and a game-high 12 assists. Saddiq Bey added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Jalen Johnson also recorded 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks. 

Four 76ers players recorded over 20 points in the loss. Kelly Oubre Jr. led with 28 points, Tobias Harris recorded 21 points while recently traded Buddy Hield and Cameron Payne both added 20 points apiece. 

Onyeka Okongwu this season is averaging 10.2 PPG, 6.9 RPG and 1.4 APG. His performance has seen a couple of fans calling for him to take the starting center role for the franchise ahead of Capela.

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