Philadelphia is in harmful territory as soon as once more within the post-season after one other grim loss, and this time they’ll’t blame Ben Simmons.
The top-seeded Miami Heat overpowered the undermanned Philadelphia 76ers 119-103 on Thursday to take a commanding 2-0 lead of their best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference playoff collection.
Bam Adebayo scored 23 factors and pulled down 9 rebounds and Jimmy Butler added 22 and 12 assists because the Heat once more proved an excessive amount of for a Sixers staff lacking star centre Joel Embiid, who suffered a concussion and orbital fracture in Philadelphia’s series-clinching win over the Toronto Raptors.
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Tyrese Maxey scored a game-high 34 factors for Philadelphia, Tobias Harris added 21 and James Harden had 20.
But three-time scoring champion Harden was held to only 4 factors within the second half, because the Heat, who trailed briefly within the first quarter however led 60-52 at halftime, cruised to victory.
Tyler Herro, the league’s Sixth Man of the Year, scored 16 of his 18 factors within the first half off the bench and made three of his 5 three-point makes an attempt for Miami.
Victor Oladipo got here off the bench to attain 19 factors and was an much more environment friendly three-of-four from past the arc because the Heat made 14 three-pointers.
The Sixers, in the meantime, struggled from three-point vary, connecting on simply eight of their 30 makes an attempt.
Miami level guard Kyle Lowry missed a fourth straight recreation with a left hamstring pressure, however Butler stated the depth of the Heat, and the accidents they handled through the season, meant loads of gamers have been able to step up.
“When guys are in and out of the line-up year long and guys fill in, it’s like nobody’s gone,” he stated. “They’re so comfortable, so confident — they know they belong in this league.
“This is the brightest lights, the biggest stage, and they’re ready for it.”
But Butler is aware of the actual check will come when the Heat journey to Philadelphia for video games three and 4 beginning on Saturday.
“It’s going to be crazy,” he stated. “They’ve got some of the best fans in the league, but we’ve got a job to do.
“We did what we were supposed to do at home. The series really starts when you take it to the road.”
The Sixers will want greater than fan help in Philadelphia, however it’s not clear when Embiid may return. He should full the incremental concussion protocol, step by step rising bodily exercise and coaching, to be cleared to play.
“He’s got so many steps to go through,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers stated. “I don’t think he’s cleared any of them right now. So we just have to wait and see.”