Here is my look at some of the best and worst performances from the 76ers’ 99-90 loss to the Miami Heat at the Wells Fargo Center in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Thursday.
Best performance: Jimmy Butler gets this for the third straight game after finishing with a game-high 32 points to go with eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and a steal. The Heat forward scored 23 of his points after intermission.
Worst performance: I had to give this to Joel Embiid. The Sixers center finished with a co-team-high 20 points to go with 12 rebounds. However, he abandoned the low post and played mostly in the perimeter. He made just 7-of-24 shots, including going 2-for-8 on three-pointers. At one point, the 7-foot-2 MVP candidate had a jumper blocked by 6-9 Bam Adebayo.
Best defensive performance: This goes to Bam Adebayo. In addition to blocking Embiid’s shot, the Heat center finished a team-high two steals. He was also a plus-20 in 34 minutes, 29 seconds.
Worst effort: James Harden gets this one. The Sixers point guard looked like a guy going through the motions in the second half. He only attempted two shots while being held scoreless after intermission. In the third quarter, the Sixers ended up running their offense through Shake Milton and not Harden. This comes after Harden had 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting, including going 3-of-5 on three-pointers in the first half.
Most telling quote: This goes to Sixers coach Doc Rivers on why he ran his offense through Milton in the third quarter. The coach said, “We were searching for whatever we could get at that point. That’s not a good place to be, but it was the place we were in and you just try to do what you can do to get your offense going.”
Best statistic: This goes to the Heat offensive rebounds. They out-rebounded the Sixers, 13-6, on the offensive boards. P.J. Tucker had four of them.
Worst statistic: This goes to the Heat three-point shooting. They shot 7-of-28 for 25%.
Worst of the Worst: The Sixers won just once in their last 12 second-round appearances dating to 1986. The Sixers beat the Raptors in seven games in 2001 en route to finishing as NBA Finals runners-up.