A Night to Forget: 76ers fall to Miami Heat 99-82 in South Beach
Talk about a buzzkill. Do yourself a favor and completely erase tonight’s game from your memory. With James Harden getting some rest, the Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Eastern Conference leading Miami Heat on Saturday night by a final score of 99-82.
The Sixers dropped to 39-24 on the season, as Miami extended their lead in the Eastern Conference to three games. Tonight was going to be a rough game already, playing on the second leg of a back-to-back after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers last night in South Philadelphia.
Honestly, I was completely in favor of benching all of the Sixers starters tonight and writing this game off as a loss before it even started. Embiid looked sluggish last night and running him out there again tonight without Harden seemed stupid.
Of course, I was right.
Joel Embiid finished with 22 points, shooting a miserable 4-for-15 from the floor. Tyrese Maxey scored 17 points and Tobias Harris added 16 points. The trio were the only 76ers players to score in double digits on the night, with Georges Niang being the fourth leading scorer with nine points.
76ers Supporting Cast
Anytime the 76ers have to start Furkan Korkmaz, who continued his miserable streak of playing basketball, just count me out.
Tonight, he and the rest of the 76ers supporting cast were absolutely miserable.
As a team, the Sixers scored just 14 points in the first quarter, shooting 5-for-23 from the floor and 2-for-11 from three point range. It never got any better, with the supporting cast of Korkmaz, Milton, and Isaiah Joe combining to go 0-for-7 from three point range on the night. As a team, the 76ers shot a miserable 7-for-41 from beyond the arc, including an 0-for-6 night from Joel Embiid.
Even with a terrible off-night from the 76ers, they managed to keep the game relatively close in the second half. The Sixers outscored the Heat in the third quarter 28-19 but then put up another dud like they did in the first quarter in the final frame, scoring just 14 points.
I’m pretty confident that this game would have gone much differently with Harden on the court and if Miami is atop of the Eastern Conference standings, then I’m pretty confident that a healthy, well-rested Philadelphia 76ers remains the team to beat the East over the final stretch of the season.
The Sixers will have a much needed day of rest tomorrow before welcoming the Chicago Bulls to the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night. The Sixers are still in second place in the East, three games behind Miami. The Bulls currently sit in a tie for third place with the Bucks, a half game behind the Sixers and 3.5 games behind the Heat.