Miami regains control of the series by passing over Philadelphia

A reaction from Miami was expected… and what if there was one! The Heat returned home wounded in their pride after two consecutive losses that forced them to win the fifth game to avoid major problems. They did, and not in any way. In an exercise of authority, they marked distances from the first moment to close the night with a true beating of Philadelphia by 120-85.

Erik Spoelstra’s guys worked perfectly. Under the leadership of Jimmy Butler (23 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists) they showed a rhythm and intensity that could not be matched by the Sixers who would finish the night with a dismal 36.5 percent shooting from the field. If in Pennsylvania the success was conspicuous by its absence, Miami for its part had up to seven players in double digits of scoring. Directly there was no game. The difference between the two was higher than expected.

“They were just more physical. We did not know how to handle anything on the parquet. We don’t handle our affairs very well. We played at a snail’s pace…Everything they did tonight was harder and better. His material was better, his energy was better », comments a Doc Rivers resigned to the lofty display of his rival.

The 76ers head coach is not without reason. Miami gave them no choice; so much so that he handcuffed his two stars. James Harden stayed at 14 points and Joel Embiid at 17, being the ones who accumulated the worst part of their team with -29 while they were on the track. If you do these against the two of them, of course you have a lot of ground gained; And if Tyrese Maxey also stays at 9 points with 2 of 10 shots…

The victory was resounding. Along with Butler, the double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds by Max Strus stood out, as well as Gabe Vincent’s 15 goals off the bench. As we said, it was practically the perfect game, but that’s not why the Heat want to throw bells on the fly. His coach, Erik Spoelstra, asks for calm: «It’s just a game. They know. We know».

Scare for Embiid

That’s how it is. Playing in a mask doesn’t mean Joel Embiid is okay; indeed, it approaches just the opposite. Last night, during the second quarter, he took a hit in a dispute with Dewayne Dedmon while grabbing a defensive rebound. The Sixers’ own center assures that he was «quite painful», and apparently on the parquet it must have been that way. After the impact he took off his mask and put his hands to his face while he writhed on the ground. He was finally able to continue playing.

«It’s hard. I think he knew going into all of this that there will be a couple of occasions where he gets punched in the face. It’s going to happen… he got up and said he was fine, after a while », comments Doc Rivers.

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)