The Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers will play Game 6 of their first-round best-of-seven series at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night.
The Heat dominated Game 5 with a 120-85 win as three-point favorites, covering the spread. The 76ers aim to force a Game 7 by avoiding elimination at home. Philadelphia is a 2.5-point home favorite to start the game, with the point total at 207.
Heat Look to Take Series on the Road
After losing two straight in Philadelphia, Miami bounced back with a massive 120-85 triumph in Game 5 at home on Tuesday night. The Heat are one win away from reaching the Eastern Conference finals, thanks to Jimmy Butler’s 23 points and Max Strus’ 19 points and ten rebounds.
The 35-point margin of victory was the largest in the playoffs so far. Miami got a complete effort from their squad, receiving 13 points from Victor Oladipo, 12 from Bam Adebayo, and ten each from Tyler Herro and P.J. Tucker.
The Heat are 6-0 at home in the playoffs and have yet to lose. The Heat shot 13 for 33 from 3-point range on Tuesday after going 14 for 65 in their two losses to Philadelphia (21.5 percent) (39.4 percent ).
They also outrebounded Joel Embiid and company 46-36 in the fourth quarter and rested most of their starters. The series shifts back to Philadelphia, where Miami has struggled in recent years.
However, they made numerous wide-open three-pointers in Games 3 and 4, which proved to be their undoing.
76ers in Must-Win Game at Home
In Tuesday’s 120-85 thrashing, Philadelphia looked rusty and lethargic out of the gate. For fourth-seeded Philadelphia, Joel Embiid had 17 points, while James Harden had 14, and Tobias Harris had 12.
With 1.5 seconds left in the third, Tyrese Maxey hit a deep 3-pointer to put Philadelphia within 81-66. Whatever optimism the 76ers had at the time was dashed when they surrendered 12 consecutive points to start the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia had a tough night all around, especially for Embiid, who was already wearing a mask after suffering a concussion. Embiid was rattled up in the first quarter when he attempted to save a loose ball by diving into the baseline seats.
He doubled over and grabbed his back shortly after. Dwayne Dedmon also punched him in the face midway through the second. He stayed in the game, although he appeared to be in pain.
In the last 8:18, none of Philadelphia’s starters appeared. Tyrese Maxey, who has been outstanding for the 76ers throughout this series and all season, shot two for ten. Georges Niang, who had a fantastic Game 4 performance, was zero for five.
Heat/76ers Betting Prediction
After tying the series and giving the city new life, the 76ers blew it in Game 5 on the road Tuesday night and didn’t even make the game competitive.
Philadelphia had a tough night all around, especially for Embiid, and Philadelphia is in peril for Game 6. The Heat are on a winning streak, having won 13 of their last 17 games.
I expect the Sixers to play much better today, particularly in front of their home crowd. But only a throwback 35-point performance from James Harden will give the 76ers a shot.
The Heat, on the other hand, appeared to have regained their shooting touch and made some defensive modifications that worked on Tuesday. Miami has gone 5-0 in the playoffs without Kyle Lowry, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
Miami is too good for this 76er squad, back Miami.
Betting Pick: Heat ML +115
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