Eighty down, two to go.
Joel Embiid played just over 30 minutes, putting up 21 points on 9 of 13 shooting, along with six boards and two blocks.
Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro led a balanced Heat attack with 24 points apiece, as it is still mathematically possible for the Sixers to draw the Heat as their first-round playoff opponent.
Here are some thoughts at the buzzer.
- It definitely seemed like Doc Rivers wanted to use this game to give extended minutes to the guys on the fringes of the rotation. Shake Milton and Danuel House Jr. were among the first subs of the game for the Sixers along with Jalen McDaniels. McDaniels continued to shoot well from outside, knocking down a pair of threes in the opening quarter.
- The lack of stakes in tonight’s game for the Sixers did not deter Embiid from making some very silly baskets.
- The big fella led all scorers with 12 after one, but Miami had no problems getting baskets themselves. The Heat shot 68 percent in the first on their way to a 41-point quarter, holding a 10-point lead.
- While the Sixers clearly weren’t giving as much effort as the Heat, their offense in the first quarter at least had a decent flow to it. Their offense was just ugly to start the second. They scored only two points over the first four minutes. In the first half James Harden had eight points and shot just 3 of 10 from the floor
- Nothing quite sums up early April basketball like Tobias Harris and Gabe Vincent trading air-balls.
- Unsurprisingly, Philly’s offense did not get better as the second continued. They shot 37 percent from the floor, only scoring 15 points. The Heat continued to shoot the ball very well, going 48 percent from downtown in the first half. Embiid remained the only Sixers highlight as they trailed by 19 at the break.
Another game, another Jojo block pic.twitter.com/xICloGd4XB— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 7, 2023
- It was a bit surprising to see Harden and Embiid play in the second half at all, but the Sixers opened the third quarter with the five that started the game.
- It’s a shame that the G-League playoffs are going on because this would have been the perfect night to give Jaden Springer extended minutes. While he’s been playing very well for the Blue Coats, it’s not the same as NBA experience.
- Butler saw the absurd and-ones his buddy made in the first quarter, and decided he wanted to try it as well.
Jimmy Butler with the tough and-1 bucket!— NBA (@NBA) April 7, 2023
He's up to 24 on TNT. pic.twitter.com/MukC8DQ57u
- Not only has McDaniels been shooting the three-ball well as of late, but he completed a lob! Philly got him going downhill on an ATO and Milton found him on the roll. The Heat led by 18 after an uneventful third quarter.
- Despite the score differential, the Sixers weren’t waving the white flag just yet. They still began the fourth with Harden plus the second unit. They would start emptying the bench after a couple more Miami threes. Furkan Korkmaz checked into the game for Harden with 10 minutes left.
- The Sixers will head down to Atlanta to take on the Hawks tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET. Only two more games until they start mattering.