Well, if what remained of the Miami Heat after contact-tracing were going to beat the Philadelphia 76ers, it would’ve been their Tuesday night overtime loss. In the two teams’ second consecutive meeting, the Sixers dominated from late in the first quarter through the rest of the game to come away with a 125-108 victory.
Miami had the same eight players that suited up for the Tuesday night matchup, while the Sixers got Tobias Harris and Shake Milton back. Milton looked like Allen Iverson for spurts of the game, scoring 19 of his 31 points in the first half and going 11-for-15 from the field overall.
Harris, for his part, went 7-for-13 from the field and finished with 18 points. Miami’s lack of wing depth due to contact-tracing was on full display defensively. At certain points, Harris had the point guard Gabe Vincent defending him.
The Heat would’ve needed to have another great 3-point shooting performance to make a game out of it, and that didn’t happen. Miami shot 12-of-34 from beyond the arc. Kelly Olynyk was the ugliest, as he went just 1-for-7 from downtown — and his lone make came in the final minutes of the game. And the Heat turned the ball over 20 times, mishaps that frequently led to transition opportunities from the Sixers.
Duncan Robinson led Miami with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field. He made four of his eight 3-point attempts, but Robinson showed more elements to his game — like the drives and cuts to the basket we first saw during the seeding games of the NBA bubble.
Aside from a good game from Robinson, the Heat would’ve needed more than a good half from Tyler Herro. In the first quarter, Herro took fellow Kentucky product Tyrese Maxey into the post for a nice duck-in. It was a play that revealed the continuing evolution of Herro’s offensive game, and it was a welcome sign.
But after scoring more than 30 points in each of his last two games, Herro went 0-for-4 in the second half Thursday night to finish with 17 points. Erik Spoelstra only played the sophomore 10 minutes in the second half, perhaps because the game was already out of hand.
The player who probably came out of these two games looking the best is Vincent, who scored 21 points and dished out eight assists Thursday. Vincent showed skill in making layups over Dwight Howard and Joel Embiid and also knocked down four 3-pointers. At this point, we have to think that Vincent has leapfrogged over Kendrick Nunn in the rotation.
Precious Achiuwa recorded his second consecutive double-double, finishing the game with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He continues to show the areas of room for growth — he missed four free throws and continued his habit of turning the ball over instantly after grabbing a rebound. But on a positive note, the rookie made a nice Euro-step to elude Embiid on a fast-break opportunity.
Good bit of body control here from Achiuwa considering he made the catch at a full-speed sprint. pic.twitter.com/hfRnS9c8qR— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) January 15, 2021
Fellow big man Chris Silva had a good game, feasting on dunk opportunities to go 4-for-6 from the field. Silva also had a great block on Embiid in the first quarter.
The Heat will hope to have Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic back for Miami’s next game against the Detroit Pistons.