Second half surge fuels 76ers past Heat 105-104 in play-in

Heat 76ers
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

After a 14-point first-half lead, the Miami Heat suffered a 105-104 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in the play-in game.

Thus, the Heat will officially take on the winner between the Atlanta Hawks or Chicago Bulls Friday evening inside Kaseya Center in Miami, Fla. The winner of Friday’s game will face the top-seeded Boston Celtics Sunday.

The Heat even led by 13 with less than 10 minutes left in the third quarter, but the 76ers were buoyed by clutch shot-making from Nicolas Batum, who hit six second-half 3-pointers and an important tip-in layup with less than five minutes left.

Miami’s zone defense stifled Philadelphia in the first half, forcing 11 76er turnovers (nine live-ball), limiting it to just 33.3 percent shooting and 3-of-18 from 3-point range. The 76ers were able to puncture Miami’s defense–which mixed zone and man–over the final 24 minutes, shooting 50.0 percent in the second half, including 9-of-17 from beyond the arc.

Embiid finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds on 6-of-17 shooting–scoring 11 in the final quarter and eight over the game’s final 2:46. Batum tallied 20 points on 6-of-10 from 3-point range while Tyrese Maxey posted 19 points and six assists on 6-of-16 shooting.

Despite a very inefficient outing, Tyler Herro led the Heat with 25 points plus nine assists, though he scored 16 of his 25 in the fourth quarter on 5-of-10 shooting after going 4-for-17 over the first three. Jimmy Butler, who suffered a knee injury at the tail-end of the first quarter, had 19 points, four rebounds, five assists and five steals in 40 minutes.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. made multiple crucial shots, adding 15 points and five rebounds on 6-of-11 shooting and 2-of-4 shooting. Kevin Love and Bam Adebayo both posted 10 points apiece, while Adebayo added 12 rebounds with two blocks in 31 minutes.

Delon Wright and Haywood Highsmith were both sparks atop Miami’s 2-2-1 press and amoebic zone, combing for five of the Heat’s 12 steals with two of their four blocks. Wright, especially, was one of Miami’s lone bright spots Wednesday.

Butler’s injury was, by far, the biggest blow Wednesday evening; the injury noticeably got worse as the game aged, as Butler was essentially nothing more than a decoy by the game’s end.

“I fell, he landed and my knee just didn’t do well, I guess,” Butler said, according to ESPN. “I don’t know. It’s not a good feeling, I can tell you that.

“It felt like I couldn’t do too much, which sucks with the timing of the game and everything. I hope that I’m fine. I hope that I wake up tomorrow and can still stick-and-move. Right now, I can’t stay that’s the case.”

We don’t know the extent of the injury at the time of this publishing, but if it’s as serious as it may have looked, Miami’s postseason is toast–especially with no Rozier or Robinson, who was made active Wednesday despite not seeing the floor.


This is a developing news story. Stay tuned for updates.

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Definitely our second unit should have gotten more pt in the second half. They played very well in the first half. Instead Spoelstra kept the starters in for way too long. Butler was hurt, Herro struggled, Caleb and Jovic were bad and Bam was invisible. I do think he should have made adjustments sooner. He kept the starters in for like 8 minutes in the turd quarter. Our defense was bad and we struggled to score and lost our lead.
We really missed a point guard in the second half.
Jimmy’s injury messed it all up for us. We would have won with Jimmy healthy. We could have and should have won regardless, but this game was just like the whole season, injuries derailed us and in the end we lacked what it took to close out the game.

heat for life

phily couldnt score on delon hh jjj love and what does our dum ass coach do.jeez i wanted to ___spobot


Problem was not for lack of point guard. The issues were:

  1. The Heat effectively defended against Maxey and Embiid as much as they could but when Batum stepped up nobody went up against him but Jimmy who was hurting.They should have asked someone else to defend the perimeter against Batum.
  2. Sixers figured out Heat’s defense in the 2nd half by cutting into the zone defense. When someone cuts into a zone defense, you do not sleep on them.The Heat’s defense was caught ball watching instead of being mentally alert for a cutter.Coach Nurse adjusted his offense in the 2nd half but the Heat failed to react.That cost the Heat the lead as the fans were let into the game and energized the home team.Rememebr that the fans were booing the home team before the half.
  3. Embiid was vulnerable and he was not attacked much to put him in foul trouble.When Embiid was on the court, the Heat should have stepped up the tempo but did not on offense. The Sixers had time to set their defense. The few times the Heat had fast breaks they were successful in scoring.
  4. FTs matter a lot at this stage. The Heat shot 73% from the free bee line while Phily shot 91%, that is a whopping 18% disparity. Our 3 pts and FG percentages were better than philly. Unless, you had a PG shooting above 40% in both areas, I don’t think he would have been of much help there either unless he would have limited Batum at the other end which you needed size for.
  5. Inspite of having Embiid (a rim protector), the Sixers defended the paint area by clogging it, so a pg running down the lane would have been ineffective.

That is my take on the game IMHO.


Butler, I hope you heal well.


This was a good game.
Batum and Lowry (underrated defense) were the key to Sixers win.
Coach Spo and Coach Nurse were brilliant in their schemes.
The refs had a pass rating.
The winners were the fans of both teams.
I did enjoy the game.

heat for life

great enjoyable game but wrong team won.


Heat still have another shot on Friday.


well that sucks…..for Boston. we have no choice but to eliminate them again in the 1st rd


Batum was the player the game, I’m still baffled that spo didn’t let delon close the game or at least give him major 4th quarter minutes.

heat for life

delon jimmy two best players in first half,theres a reason i call him spobot.doesnt have a feel for the game who is balling.i would have brought out delon hh to start second half phily couldnt get off a clear j with those 2 guys at the top of the key.

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