AP NEWS

Sixers look to send Heat packing

April 24, 2018

The Philadelphia 76ers will have a chance to eliminate the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA playoffs on Tuesday night, April 24 at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers hold a 3-1 lead over the Heat in the series. The tipoff for this contest is 8 p.m. (TNT, NBC Sports Philly).

The Sixers posted a 106-102 win on Saturday afternoon over the Heat to take command of the series. The team was led by rookie Ben Simmons who had his first triple double of the playoffs with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Moreover, he recorded the first triple double since former Los Angeles Lakers star guard Magic Johnson accomplished this milestone in 1980.

Simmons has been the Sixers’ best all-around player of the postseason. He is averaging 19.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 9.8 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

In addition to Simmons’ triple-double, Sixers center Joel Embiid had a double-double consisting of 14 points and 12 rebounds playing with a mask and goggles. Embiid was a major presence around the basket not only with his scoring, rebounding, but his defense in the lane. The 7-foot, 250-pounder, had five blocked shots.

Sixers shooting guard JJ Redick gave the team quite a boost with his outside shooting. Redick was the team’s high scorer with 24 points, including a crucial three-point basket in the closing moments. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder, is averaging 18.3 points per game in the postseason.

Game 5 will be a real battle for the Heat. With one game away from elimination, there’s no tomorrow. Miami has been led by its guards in this series.

Point guard Goran Dragic has played extremely well in this playoff matchup. Dragic scored 20 points or more in the first three games of the series. He tallied 15 points in the loss to the Sixers on Saturday. He is averaging 19.5 points and 4.5 assists per game.

Off the bench, veteran guard Dwyane Wade has been a big contributor for Miami. Wade had 25 points in Saturday’s loss to the Sixers. In Game 2, he had 28 points. He’s averaging 18 points and 4 rebounds per game.

If the Sixers can contain Dragic and Wade, they could take a big step in ending this series. If the Heat come away with a victory on Tuesday night, the Sixers will head to Miami for Game 6 on Thursday, April 26.