Doc Rivers’ words and actions overflowed with confidence Wednesday afternoon.

The 76ers coach chose to stick with his plan and gave players Wednesday off on the eve of their most important game of the season.

The Sixers find themselves in a critical spot heading into Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat.

» READ MORE: Sixers absorb a shot as the Heat throttle them, 120-85, in Game 5, now face elimination

The Heat take a 3-2 series lead into Thursday’s 7 p.m. game at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers must win in order to stay alive. One could assume that they have work to do after being blown out by 35 points in Tuesday’s Game 5 loss in Miami.

But with just one day between games, Rivers felt rest was more important.

“We didn’t practice the other day,” he said. “Just coming back from Miami creates a problem. We didn’t practice between Game 2 and 3. We just had shootaround. So it’s just more [because] you get in at 3 o’clock in the morning.

“The coaches can get their butts out of the bed, but you don’t want the players [to have to do that]. They need rest.”

Less than 20 minutes after Tuesday’s Game 5 loss, Rivers told reporters the Sixers “will be ready next game.”

The Sixers have shown an ability to play good basketball and beat the Heat in this series. The home team has won every game in a decisive fashion. If the Sixers win Thursday, Game 7 will be Sunday in Miami.

The Sixers took 20- and eight-point victories in Games 3 and 4 at the Wells Fargo Center.

During those games, they hit 32-of-66 three-pointers and outrebounded the Heat, 76-68. This came after the Sixers made just 14-of-64 three-point attempts and were outrebounded, 91-71, in Games 1 and 2 in Miami. Back in South Florida, the Sixers reverted to their struggling ways in Game 5.

» READ MORE: Best and worst from Sixers-Heat: Butler’s continued domination, Niang‘s shooting woes and more

They shot 36.5% from the field, including 9-for-32 on three-pointers. The Sixers also didn’t come close to matching the Heat’s physicality and intensity.

But …

“I have confidence in my team,” Rivers said. “We wouldn’t be this far if [I] didn’t. We have proven we can win games. We have proven we can win games in this series.

“Up to this point, no one has won on the road. So yeah, I should have a lot of confidence going into the game.”

The Sixers were also confident they would win Game 5 because of Joel Embiid’s presence. His availability made a difference in the outcomes of the first four games. Their losses in Games 1 and 2 came with him sidelined with an orbital fracture near his right eye and a concussion sustained at the end of the first round against Toronto.

He returned and played a major role in the Sixers’ Games 3 and 4 victories. But in Game 5, Embiid was a nonfactorwho played passive at times and looked disinterested.

He finished with playoff lows of 17 points and five rebounds. Embiid was a minus-29, the worst plus-minus of his postseason career. But the Sixers were doomed by his and the entire team’s offensive shortcomings.

And there was more.

They had a tough time making defensive stops.

The Heat shot 53.6%, including going 13-for-33 on three-pointers.

It’s often said that role players play better at home. That was the case with the Heat in Game 5.

“The way that game was played, I don’t think it would have mattered where we played,” Rivers said. “The shots they had [Tuesday] were wide-open. [On] their shots, they were comfortable. There was just no physicality from us.

“Now, will they miss more in Philadelphia? Let’s hope so. But let’s make them miss, is what I would say.”

» READ MORE: The Sixers lay down in Miami, from Doc Rivers to James Harden to Joel Embiid, in the playoffs

Tyler Herro blew past Sixers defenders to score 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting. Max Strus (19 points) and Gabe Vincent (15) also blew by them.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler (23) was completely comfortable the entire game. Butler averaged 32 points over the last three games. He is averaging 4.4 three-point attempts this series after averaging 2.0 in the regular season.

“You would take those threes, too, if no one was going to guard you,” Rivers said of Butler, who’s shooting 31.8% on threes against the Sixers.

This marks the third consecutive time the Sixers trailed 3-2 in a second-round series.

Last season, they defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 104-99, on the road in Game 6 to force Game 7. During the 2018-19 season, the Sixers took a 112-101 Game 6 victory over the Toronto Raptors at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers ended up losing both of the winner-take-all Game 7 matchups.

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

“We have to go back home and be ready,” forward Tobias Harris said of Thursday’s Game 6.