Sports Writing (USA), May 4 (EFE).- The Miami Heat, with a stellar team performance led by Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo, overwhelmed the Philadelphia 119-103 on Wednesday 76ers, without Cameroon’s Joel Embiid, and took a 2-0 lead in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals.
A double-double from Butler, with 22 points and twelve assists, in addition to six rebounds, launched a Heat in which Bam Adebayo contributed 23 points and nine rebounds, Oladipo contributed 19 points and Herro, sixth man of the year, sealed 18 , with seven rebounds.
The Heat imposed their superiority at the level of organization, offensive power and defensive solidity, against some 76ers who were not satisfied with the 34 points of an excellent Tyrese Maxey, the true leader of Doc Rivers’ team on the Miami night.
James Harden, who had not scored more than 16 points in the first game, scored twenty this Wednesday, with four rebounds and nine assists, but despite that, he did not really manage to be the protagonist against Miami’s aggressive defense.
That’s 10 losses for the 76ers in 16 games this year without Embiid, who remains sidelined with a fractured orbit and minor concussion. The doctors study his evolution on a daily basis in an attempt to recover him as soon as possible, to prolong the history of a series that until now is being dominated by the Heat.
THE HEAT FLY BASED ON TRIPLES
Despite improving above all in their offensive dynamics, after notably suffering the loss of Embiid in the first game, the 76ers could not keep up with the Heat in a game start dominated by Tyler Herro’s 16 points, with three triples, and the eleven of Bam Adebayo.
Herro hurt the 76ers from 3-point range and the Heat made eight of their 17 3-pointers in the first half, to Philly’s four of fourteen.
Victor Oladipo, taking advantage of a great play by Jimmy Butler, scored the Heat’s go-ahead 3-pointer at 52-38, but the 76ers dominated in the paint and went on a 9-0 run that brought them closer to five points in the game. 52-47.
But every time Doc Rivers’ men began to see the light, the Heat appeared from the three-point line to escape again. Thus, with another triple by Herro, the Heat went into the break with a margin of eight points (60-52).
A script that was repeated at the start of the third period, in which two quick baskets by Tobias put the 76ers within four points (60-56), before Butler scored six points in a row and distributed two assists to launch a partial of 12-2 that frustrated ‘Philly’.
THE 76ERS ARE NOT ENOUGH WITH MAXEY
It was Tyrese Maxey’s credit, with thirteen points in the third quarter, if Doc Rivers’s men did not drop completely from the match, after losing by fifteen points (81-66) when Butler hit a tremendous triple and Victor Oladipo supported the board two good points.
The Heat fed on the enthusiasm of their fans in the fourth quarter did not shake their arm. They played high-intensity basketball and sealed the game five minutes early with a quadruple play that knocked the 76ers down.
Herro offered Bam Adebayo the assist for a wonderful alley-oop and, seconds later, gave Max Strus the pass for the 99-86 3-pointer that forced Doc Rivers’ timeout.
Shortly after, it was Butler to seal a powerful mate after an ‘alley-oop’ and Oladipo hit the triple to make it 104-89.
The margin increased to 16 points in the final 119-103 for the Heat who did their homework in the two home games and who can hit the table next Friday, when the series will move to Philadelphia.