MIAMI — Are the 76ers destined for another Eastern Conference semifinals exit?

It doesn’t look good for them. They trailed by 13 points in the first quarter en route to a 120-85 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the conference semifinals Tuesday night at FTX Arena. The Heat have a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 is 7 p.m. Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Sixers coach Doc Rivers didn’t have any answer for how poorly his team played.

“They were just so much more engaged and physical and took us out of our stuff,” he said of the Heat. “There’s a lot of disappointment from all of us tonight.”

Things were so lopsided that Miami-based hip-hop recording artist and producer DJ Khaled, who was seated courtside, motioned that he was going to check himself into the game.

The Sixers eventually took their starters out with Miami leading, 99-70, with 8 minutes, 18 seconds remaining.

“I’ll have to watch the tape or burn it,” Rivers said. “I’m not sure which one.”

The Sixers looked nothing like the squad that shot well while winning Games 3 and 4 at home to even up the series.

On this night, they shot 36.5% from the field, making just 9-of-32 three-pointers. The Sixers also didn’t match the Heat’s physicality.

“The physicality should be on both ends,” Sixers point guard James Harden said with a little laugh. “They were physical. We missed shots. They got off to a good start. We cannot allow that to happen. It is difficult to come back and fight your way back.

“We were not engaged defensively and that slowed down our offense. We have to be engaged and locked in. It is not good enough just to play hard. You have to be able think possession by possession.”

Asked if he felt the officials didn’t allow the Sixers to match Miami’s physicality, Harden responded, “No comment.”

Joel Embiid finished with 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go with five rebounds. He played with little energy and appeared passive at times. Embiid was a minus-29, the worst plus-minus of his postseason career.

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This marked Embiid’s third game back since suffering a fractured orbital near his right eye and a concussion on an elbow from Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam late in the Sixers’ Game 6 victory to clinch their first-round series. It was Embiid’s worst all-around performance since returning. It’s obvious that he’s still hampered by the fracture and the torn ligament in his right thumb.

“I thought coming in I had the right mindset,” Embiid said. “You know, I had the right mindset about what I wanted to accomplish. And as far as myself and the team to try to get the win.

“And there’s a lot going on. Sometimes your body and whatever’s going on won’t allow you to just be yourself. Those moments you just have to keep pushing, hope for the best. I like I said, this one is all about just being there and just keep pushing.”

His presence alone willed the Sixers to home victories in Games 3 and 4. On this night, Embiid had a second-quarter scare when he was hit in the face. He remained in the game and appeared to be fine.

Tyrese Maxey also had a rough night. The Sixers second-year guard had nine points on 2-for-10 shooting. Harden didn’t come close to duplicating his 31-point effort from Game 4. The point guard finished with 14 points on 5-for-13 shooting to go with six rebounds, four assists, and four turnovers.

Georges Niang was held scoreless for the second game of the series. The Sixers reserve power forward went 0-for-6 from the field — all three-pointers — in 16 minutes of action. Niang had zero points in Game 1 on 0-for-7 shooting.

Jimmy Butler paced the Heat with 23 points.

The Sixers have struggled to get rebounds and make three-pointers in the three games in Miami, all losses.

Now, the Sixers must win Thursday’s home game to force a winner-take-all Game 7 back in South Florida. Embiid’s message for his teammates is to share the ball in Game 6. On Tuesday, the ball stuck and the Sixers were stagnant on offense.

“Defensively, we have to be locked in,” Embiid said. “I told myself I have to dig deeper than I have. Try to kind of forget about what’s going on and just play freely. Even in the two wins, I wasn’t aggressive. I tried to in the third quarter, and we just couldn’t get stops. I just have to have that mentality for four quarters.

“I like our chances to come back here.”

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Even if they force a Game 7, the Sixers will have to defy history.

Since 2000, Game 5 winners have gone on to advance more than 70% of the time.

The Sixers are also one loss away from having won just one of their last 12 second-round appearances dating back to 1986. They beat the Raptors in seven games in 2001 en route to finishing as NBA Finals runners-up.

“It is disappointing and a tough loss,” forward Tobias Harris said. “We have to get back on track. It is unfortunate we had that type of start to the game. We have to go back home and be ready. This is a bad loss for us.”

But this is the third consecutive time that the Sixers lost Game 5 to go down 3-2 in a second-round series. They won Game 6 in their previous two appearances to force Game 7 only to lose in heartbreakers.

Embiid was asked if this was a ‘Here we go again” moment.

“Now, I’m not feeling that way at all,” he said. “Obviously, I was hoping that every single day I would feel better as the series went along. It just seems that I’m still at that level. But like I said, it’s a different ball game. We were down 2-0, we tied up. We have it in us.”

Embiid’s scare

Embiid suffered a scare with 6:13 left in the first half when he was hit in the face with the ball by Dewayne Dedmon after grabbing a rebound. The Heat reserve center had hit the ball while trying to dislodge it from Embiid’s hands.

He lost the ball, fell out of bounds and grabbed his face mask. He remained there for several seconds while play continued. After a break in the action, Embiid was checked out while Rivers received a technical foul for fuming about the non-call.

“I don’t exactly know what happened,” Embiid said. “I just felt something to my face. In the area, pretty painful. It’s whatever.”

Embiid walked to the bench and was checked out during a break in the action before returning to the court. He missed his only shot attempt the rest of the half.

Embiid finished with six points on 2-for-6 shooting to go with two rebounds and two turnovers in the first half. He went on to score 11 of the Sixers’ 22 third-quarter points on 5-for-6 shooting. Embiid made an 18-foot jumper, three layups and a 17-foot fadeaway.

He did not attempt a shot while playing 1:22 in the fourth quarter.

“I’m just trying my best, honestly,” Embiid said.

No Lowry

Miami point guard Kyle Lowry missed the game because of a strained left hamstring.

Lowry, a Cardinal Dougherty and Villanova product, originally suffered the injury on April 22 in Game 3 of the Heat’s first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. He was sidelined until Friday when he faced the Sixers in Game 3. However, he aggravated the injury in Sunday’s Game 4.

Unable to move like he used to, Lowry struggled against the Sixers. The Heat have actually played better with Gabe Vincent in the starting lineup. The Heat have improved to 5-0 when Vincent starts.