The Philadelphia 76ers won a big game with the regular season winding down. Read to find out why wins like this are so important for Philadelphia right now.
Sixers Take Down Miami Heat at Home
The Philadelphia 76ers won a big game at home with just 11 to go in the regular season. Philadelphia took down the top seeded Miami Heat 113-106 and did so without their two best players, Joel Embiid and James Harden.
This win comes at a critical time for the Sixers. They now find themselves tied with the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in the standings at just 2.5 games back of Miami for first place in the Eastern Conference.
This game saw each quarter relatively even between Philadelphia and Miami but the Sixers had enough of an edge to pull away late.
The Sixers were outscored by the Heat by six points in the first quarter despite strong play from forward Georges Niang and guard Tyrese Maxey. Maxey has been putting on a clinic for Philadelphia this season and that continued in this one as he scored 28 points with 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
It was the fourth quarter that made the difference in this one. Miami and Philadelphia went into it separated by two points with Philadelphia leading 80-78. It was a dogfight of a fourth quarter but Philadelphia had enough gas in the tank to outscore the Heat by 5 and finish off with a convincing 7 point victory over the Eastern Conference’s top dogs.
The Heat’s attack was led by the usual suspects. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry each put up 20+ points. Miami was never out of this one until the final minute or so, but the stats tell the tale of Philadelphia’s success.
Philadelphia’s 3 point percentage and overall field goal percentage were both superior to Miami’s and they out rebounded the Heat by 11 including over 7 offensive boards.
Other than that the numbers were pretty close but the Sixers also racked up more assists than the Heat and committed one less turnover. The two teams were even in steals and blocks with 6 and 4, respectively.
This game proved that the Sixers are still a winning team even without their two best players. This may very well be the year that the Sixers put their near four decade championship drought to rest.
It was just one game but this had a playoff feeling to it. If the Sixers can keep up with the best team in their conference the way they did on Monday night, the sky’s the limit for this team in the postseason.
The Sixers have just 11 regular season games remaining. Their next three will see them head out west to take on the Lakers and Clippers in Los Angeles, and then to Phoenix to square off against yet another Conference leader in the Suns.
That game against the Suns in addition to their next matchup at home against the Bucks are the ones to keep your eyes on. Philadelphia got a big win for confidence purposes as we near the end, but they need to prove that they can beat the good teams consistently.
Sixers fans aren’t looking for just another playoff run right now. It’s NBA Championship or bust for Philadelphia this season; especially after last year’s heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals.
Embiid and Harden should be back for Wednesday night’s matchup against the Lakers. It’s not very likely, but if the Sixers have a strong stretch over these last 11 games, they have a chance to even snatch the No. 1 seed away from Miami.
At the very least Philadelphia should be able to go into the postseason as the No. 2 seed. Consistency on the court for the Sixers these next few weeks is going to be the biggest factor and will influence how they perform in the playoffs.
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