Dwyane Wade scored 21 of his game-high 28 points in the first half, passing Larry Bird for 10th all-time on the National Basketball Association postseason scoring list, to lead the Miami Heat to a 113-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday in Philadelphia.
The unlikely victory just wasn't meant to be, though the grit and determination shown to fight back will certainly serve the team well when Joel Embiid returns - likely in Game 3 in Miami on Thursday. Regardless, the two may need to step up their game to a whole new level should Embiid be ruled out for Game 3 in Miami.
The 76ers made a late push, but Wade put Philadelphia away with a steal-and-slam, a jumper and an assist.
The defeat ended Philadelphia's 17-game winning streak that stretched all the back into the regular season as far as March 13.
Following the Sixers' 113-103 loss to the Miami Heat, Embiid took to social media to vent his frustration at having to watch from the sidelines, and zero words were minced.
Coach Brett Brown sounds frustrated in coachspeak at Embiid not being cleared to play.
Embiid has gone through a lot dealing with injuries and can't be happy missing out on the first playoff games of his career, especially at home.
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"It's fun having him back in the family", Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the game.
But there was life left in the fourth. Saric broke up a pass on defense that led to a Simmons dunk and suddenly 18 straight wins was within reach.
Simmons is averaging 14.5 points, 9.5 assists and 9.7 rebounds a game over his last 10 games. It's definitely going to be one heck of a battle to see him play against Simmons, Fultz and shooting guard Marco Belinelli.
"I hate this feeling but maybe it's a good reminder for everybody for next game to lock in", Simmons said. Ilyasova got the start in Game 2 after the Sixers found success with him playing center off the bench in the series opener.
The 76ers held a moment of silence for Hall of Famer Hal Greer.
"That's a partnership with Joel and the medical people", Brown said.
Goren Dragic and James Johnson both had excellent games, combining for 38 points on 15-21 shooting. In each of his two games in Miami, Embiid also made three three-pointers.