MIAMI — This was a bad look for the 76ers.
They were roughed up in a 106-94 loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The game was more lopsided than the final margin of victory would indicate. A victory Friday night over the Orlando Magic would enable to Sixers to clinch the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed. However, they’ll definitely need to play with more grit and shore up things if they expect to win an NBA title.
Here are the best and worst awards from the game:
Jimmy Butler gets this. The Heat forward finished with 21 points, five rebounds, and four assists against his former team in just 29 minutes, 22 seconds. He went 4-for-4 from the three-point line and made all five of his foul shots. Sixteen of his points came in the first quarter.
Joel Embiid gets this. This was arguably his worst game of the season, one that could impact his MVP bid. Embiid finished with season lows of six points and two rebounds in 25:19. He shot 2-for-6 in the first quarter and missed his two shots in the second quarter. Embiid then made 1 of 3 shots in the third quarter before sitting out the fourth. He didn’t have a rebound in the first half.
Best defensive performance
This goes to Duncan Robinson. Yes, Duncan Robinson. The Heat sharpshooter made up for missing 6 of 7 shots by finishing with a game-high two blocks and a team-high two steals.
This goes to the Heat’s first-quarter shooting. They shot 66.7% in the opening quarter en route to making 50.6% of their shots for the game.
This goes to the Sixers’ rebounding. They were outrebounded, 47-30. Embiid failed to grab one in the first half.
Worst of the worst
This goes to the Sixers’ inability to match the Heat’s physicality. It was as if Miami was sending a message to the Sixers. Philly was too busy disputing questionable calls by the refs. One has to assume that the Heat will have a mental edge if the squads meet in the second round of the playoffs.