Heat end 76ers’ streak

The Maui News - - SPORTS - By DAN GEL­STON

PHILADEL­PHIA — Dwyane Wade snuffed out one 76ers’ rally by pop­ping a 16-foot fade­away with the shot clock tick­ing down. Wade made a half­hearted at­tempt at reach­ing his hand out to­ward a fallen de­fender be­fore he scooted on his way.

Wade was up, the Six­ers were down and sud­denly, a se­ries.

He turned in a vin­tage per­for­mance, scor­ing 28 points to end the 76ers’ 17-game win­ning streak and lead the Mi­ami Heat to a 113-103 Game 2 win over Philadel­phia on Mon­day night and even the firstround play­off se­ries.

“I saw mo­ments,” Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra said. “That’s what de­fines Dwyane Wade.”

The 36-year-old flashed the form of a three-time NBA cham­pion with the Heat, not the jour­ney­man who bounced around the last two sea­sons with for­get­table stints in Chicago and Cleve­land.

Wade made 11 of 17 shots and put on a show in the sec­ond quar­ter and put it away in the fourth.

“He can set­tle the group with his ex­pe­ri­ence, his cham­pi­onship ex­pe­ri­ence,” Spoel­stra said.

The Six­ers badly needed in­jured All-Star cen­ter Joel Em­biid to set­tle them. The Six­ers nearly pulled off an epic come­back and ral­lied from 16 down to just two points late in the fourth.

Philly fans were go­ing wild and sud­denly the home-court edge that had made the Six­ers un­beat­able for a month seemed like it would perk the team back up for one more notch on the win­ning streak.

Wade buried two big buck­ets down the stretch that pushed back the Six­ers and tied the se­ries as it shifts to Mi­ami for Game 3 on Thurs­day.

The Six­ers lost for the first time since March 13 to In­di­ana. They won 16 straight to end the reg­u­lar sea­son and the first game of the play­offs and played their 10th straight game with­out Em­biid.

“You need Joel Em­biid,” Six­ers coach Brett Brown said.

Em­biid went on In­sta­gram af­ter the game and wrote, “sick and tired of be­ing ba­bied.”

Wade’s play re­sem­bled his glory days at times and he car­ried the Heat in a sen­sa­tional sec­ond quar­ter that was the dif­fer­ence. He pump-faked his way to 15 points in the quar­ter — and outscored the po­tent Six­ers by two points.

Wade made his first seven shots of the game and passed Larry Bird for 10th on the NBA’s ca­reer post­sea­son scor­ing list.

Af­ter a Game 1 vic­tory where they couldn’t miss, the Six­ers couldn’t make a big bucket in the first half. The Six­ers made a team play­of­frecord 18 3s in Game 1 and missed a whop­ping 16 of 18 3s in the first half. Robert Cov­ing­ton missed all five and Dario Saric was 0 for 4.

The Heat slowed the game down — ex­actly the kind of style where the Six­ers needed Em­biid in the mid­dle — and used a col­lec­tive of de­fend­ers on Ben Sim­mons that rat­tled the rookie point guard early.

The pass­ing-and-push­ing of­fense that got the Six­ers to the No. 3 seed in the East failed them for the first time since early March.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.