The Heat opened the game cold, missing easy buckets and making silly mistakes. They’d get their bearings with Bam getting the Heat on the board, but Philly was rolling early. They’d get out to an early lead with Joel Embiid, Al Horford and Ben Simmons infiltrating the paint.
Despite the loud boos, Jimmy Butler would take it to Philly scoring 6 of Miami’s first 8 points. Philly stretched their lead on a 12-3 run continuing to make things difficult for Miami, who really had no options on offense besides Jimmy and Bam.
Miami took some gross looks, nobody was in sync. From airballs to bricks, it was not pretty.
Kendrick Nunn also scored a few buckets to keep the Heat in reach, but the Heat would go into the second down 10.
The Heat opened the second quarter in a 2-3 zone, that seemed to slow Philly down somewhat. On the other end, it was Tyler Herro going to work for the Heat along with Bam Adebayo who put his speed on display (he had a dozen points 3 minutes into the second).
Bam was feeling it as he did great work on both ends even rejecting his buddy Josh Richardson in the key. Miami’s lack of three point shooting slowed them down, but they cleaned up other areas of the offense to claw their way back within four thanks to strong play by Nunn.
The Heat finally figured things out, getting into rhythm and displaying the ball movement that has made them a top team in the NBA. This led to a great sequence that ended with a Derrick Jones Jr. three and Miami’s first lead of the ball game.
Miami’s ability to limit second chance points really helped as they worked to extend their lead. The Heat would continue to surge to end first half up eight.
Miami picked up where they left off with Duncan Robinson hitting a three to start things off, but Philly also showed signs of life scoring on some clean looks.
Miami’s ball movement frustrated the Sixers forcing them to foul at times and allowing the Heat to extend the lead to double digits. Philly would fight back with Ben Simmons leading the charge, but Miami’s offensive assault would keep them at bay with Meyers Leonard doing work from beyond the arc.
Josh Richardson would bring Philly within striking distance towards the end of the quarter. After a slow first half, the J-Rich we’re familiar with showed up, scoring seven in the quarter.
The Heat slowed down in the final three minutes of the quarter, missing some good looks and making some mistakes as a result of Philly’s defensive pressure. Still, they’d manage to stay on top, with a small scoring run to end the quarter (and a successful coach’s challenge) to take a nine point lead into the fourth quarter.
Duncan Robinson would open the fourth with a three, again, to put Miami up eleven. Tyler Herro would follow that bucket up with one of his own the following possession to extend the lead and force a Philly timeout.
Philly attempted to pressure the Heat on the offensive end, but to no avail as the Heat continued to shoot the lights out. From a DJJ slam, to a Robinson three the Heat were firing on all cylinders. It also helped that they got lucky on a few looks (i.e Nunn shot clock beating three).
Joel Embiid would do his best to force Philly back into the ball game, hitting threes and being as aggressive as possible (he’d been battling an upper respiratory infection).
Miami entered a scoring drought towards the five minute mark allowing Philly to go on an 8-0 scoring run and get back within single digits. Butler would break the drought with his first points of the second half, but Philly wasn’t done yet. They’d trim the lead to four off of a huge Josh Richardson three.
Just as things appeared to be imploding, Derrick Jones Jr. hit a three to put Miami up seven with just over a minute remaining. Unfortunately, seconds later, Joel Embiid scored, and then in a full court press stole the ball to score again and cut things to 3.
With 33.9 seconds left, Embiid would send Jimmy to the line, he’d hit both free throws to put the Heat up five. Tobias Harris cut it to two again on a big three almost immediately following. Miami managed to eat up some time on the following possession, but Kendrick Nunn missed two huge free throws giving Philly a chance to win the ball game. Thankfully, they’d misfire on the other end and send Bam to the line to ice the game (he made both free throws).
The Heat would win against a tough Philadelphia team, handing them their first home loss of the season.