Heat halt 76ers

Mi­ami evens se­ries be­hind 28-point per­for­mance by Wade

The Republican Herald - - SPORTS - BY DAN GEL­STON

PHILADEL­PHIA — Dwyane Wade 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 first-round play­off se­ries.

Play­ing with­out in­jured All-Star cen­ter Joel Em­biid for the 10th straight game, 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.

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 — im­pres­sive enough, even more so that he outscored the po­tent Six­ers by two points.

The 36-year-old 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 play­off-record 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 Six­ers made four bas­kets and scored 13 points in the quar­ter.

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.

But there was life left in the fourth.

Saric was fouled by Wade and sank both from the line to make it 91-82 and he fol­lowed with a 3 the next time down that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Saric broke up a pass on de­fense that led to a Sim­mons dunk and sud­denly 18 straight wins was within reach.

Er­san Ilyasova made a tip shot to close to 98-96.

Wade con­trib­uted with bas­kets, as­sists and free throws over the fi­nal 4 min­utes to close out the win.

Sim­mons led the Six­ers with 24 points and Saric had 23.

TIP-INS

Heat: Go­ran Dragic scored 20 points and James John­son had 18.

76ers: Philly na­tive and Hol­ly­wood star Kevin Hart rang the cer­e­mo­nial Lib­erty Bell and sat courtside a few seats down from Allen Iver­son . ... Team con­sul­tant Jerry Colan­gelo was at the game.

EM­BIID UP­DATE

Em­biid wore his black mask and put on a 3-point shootout in pregame that had fans go­ing wild with each shot. Again, there was no timetable on when Em­biid would re­turn this se­ries, if at all.

LINEUP CHANGE

Ilyasova got the start at cen­ter for the first time in Em­biid’s ab­sence over Amir John­son.

RE­MEM­BER­ING GREER

The 76ers held a mo­ment of si­lence for Hall of Famer Hal Greer. Greer died Satur­day af­ter a brief ill­ness. He was 81. He’s the 76ers’ ca­reer leader in points, field goals, field goals at­tempted, games and min­utes played.

UP NEXT

Game 3 is Thurs­day and Game 4 is Satur­day in Mi­ami.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mi­ami’s Wayne Elling­ton, right, shoots with Philadel­phia’s Marco Be­linelli de­fend­ing dur­ing the first half of Game 2 of their NBA first-round play­off se­ries Mon­day in Philadel­phia. The Heat won 113-103.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Philadel­phia’s Markelle Fultz, cen­ter, and Mi­ami’s Kelly Olynyk go af­ter the ball as Dwyane Wade, right, falls dur­ing the first half of Mon­day’s game.

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