The Sixers took advantage of the Heat resting LeBron James and Chris Bosh, finishing their rough season on a high note, defeating the two-time defending NBA champions 100-87.
A fast start from the young Sixers squad led by Thaddeus Young put the Heat behind 12-5 early in the first quarter. Dwayne Wade then carried Miami on a 22-7 run of their own to go up 27-22 as the first quarter came to an end. The three-ball was falling early for both teams as the Sixers had five threes in the first and the Heat added four as well. Casper Ware connected on a three with 24 seconds left to put the Sixers up 29-27 with the first quarter of action coming to an end. The Heat ended the first on a three-minute scoring drought with the last bucket coming on a Shane Battier trey.
Michael Beasley quickly put an end to the Heat’s drought with a jumper 19 seconds into the second. Both teams stayed neck-and-neck throughout a majority of the second quarter, but with less than four minutes remaining before halftime, the Sixers managed to obtain a seven point lead that would be cut to four at the half after a pair of Justin Hamilton free throws and a Toney Douglas 14-foot jumper for the Heat. At the break, the Sixers were on top of the Heat by a score of 55-51.
The Sixers came out of halftime on fire going on a 14-8 run in the first six minutes of the third quarter to go up 69-59. It was all Sixers throughout the remainder of the third. Jarvis Varnado, Casper Ware, Hollis Thompson, Brandon Davies, and Thad Young carried the Sixers for their 15-7 run that ended with the clock expiring in the third quarter of action. The Sixers outscored Miami 29-15 in the third, leading 84-66 entering the final quarter of action.
Ray Allen began to heat up as the Sixers started becoming allergic to the net. Allen scored eight points within the first five minutes of the fourth, and also assisted on a Norris Cole three as well as a triple from James Jones, cutting the Heat’s deficit to seven. The Sixers regained control of the game, putting an end to a potential Heat comeback with buckets from Henry Sims, Thad Young, and Elliot Williams, holding on to defeat the Heat 100-87.
Thad Young was the top performer in the game, finishing with 20 points on nine rebounds. As a team, the Sixers shot 51.4% (38-74) from the field, 43.5% from beyond-the-arc (10-23), and 87.5% (14-16) from the charity strip, adding 15 steals and 24 assists as well.
The Heat had a 41.1% (30-73) shooting effort from the floor, going 33.3% (10-30) from distance and 77.3% (17-22) at the foul line. Dwayne Wade performed well without LeBron and Bosh, with Udonis Haslem chipping in with 10 rebounds in the loss.
Philadelphia finished their season how they started it, by beating the Heat. The Sixers concluded with a 19-63 record in what was a clear tanking season, and will be counting down the days until the NBA Lottery.
Miami will be fully rested heading into their first-round matchup against Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats, going for a third straight NBA Championship.
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