NBA Playoffs 2018: Sixers fall to Heat in Game 2; Dwyane Wade’s 28 points help even series
NBA Playoffs 2018: Sixers vs. Heat in Game 2
Gallery: NBA Playoffs 2018: Sixers vs. Heat in Game 2
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers absorbed their first forceful gut punch of the NBA Playoffs on Monday.
And the Miami Heat’s blistering second quarter run proved to be the defining blow in Philly’s 113-103 loss Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first-round series.
After the Sixers rode an historical string of hot shooting to victory in the opener, they struggled to get open looks to fall Monday. Philadelphia went 7 of 35 from beyond the arc, while veteran guard Dwyane Wade’s ressurregence (28 points) helped vault the Heat to victory. Philly battled with a fourth-quarter comeback but ran out of gas in the closing minutes.
The series, knotted at 1 game apiece, will move to Miami for Game 3 on Thursday.
The Sixers opened Monday’s contest on a tear. Ersan Ilyasova presence on the offensive glass, Marco Belinelli’s scoring off the bench and Ben Simmons’ steady play at point guard helped Philadelphia pull out to a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Then Wade took over. The Heat ran its offense through the 36-year-old veteran in the second quarter and watched him pile up 21 points before halftime. On the other end of the floor, the Sixers lost their offensive rhythm and flopped and flailed while Miami pulled ahead.
The Heat outscored the Sixers 34-13 in the second quarter to take a 14-point lead into the locker room.
The Sixers did charge back in the second half when Simmons (24 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) and Saric (23 points, eight rebounds, five steals) grew more aggressive. They trimmed a 16-point deficit with 11 minutes left all the down to two with 4 minutes, 29 seconds to play.
Philadelphia couldn’t quite catch up to the Heat, though, as Wade helped the visitors stay even keeled and the Sixers endured a late rash of turnovers and errant shots.
The loss ends the Sixers’ 17-game winning streak but it doesn’t sap the team of hope for a deep playoff run. The young team came out swinging in Game 1, but the Heat jabbed back Monday night.
Now Philadelphia’s task is to regroup and ensure Miami’s Game 2 victory wasn’t a knockout punch.