MIAMI — Miami HeatThey didn't do their best in Game 1 against the Eastern Conference semifinalists Philadelphia 76ersOn Monday night, it was still good enough.
Despite playing again without starting point guard Kyle LowryThe Heat were able to win the championship by shooting 9 for 36 at 3-point range. Joel Embiid-less 76ers win 106-92 before a sold-out crowd of 19,620 at FTX Arena.
Erik Spoelstra, Heat coach said, “You don’t want more context to anything.” He was asked if there was more pressure for the Sixers to win the Embiid-less league. “You want to be in the moment. It's about doing whatever it takes to reach the next game or the one at hand. That's what we will be focusing our attention on. There have been no discussions about, “Hey, we must win tonight.” It adds another level of context to the game and pressure.
“It's all about trying to get out there and creating your best game plan in order to win that game. That's where we'll be focusing for the next 48-hours — Game 2 only.
Miami's performance at Game 1 was memorable. It shot only 43% from field, and received a disappointing performance from star forward Jimmy Butler(15 points for 5-for-16 shooting
However, the 76ers were even worse. They shot 6 for 34 (3/4 from 3-point range), committed 15 turnovers which resulted in 22 points for the Heat and were outrebounded by 47 to 37 (including 15-9 on the offensive – which allowed the Heat to score 13 more shots).
“Very similar” to the [first round against]Toronto. We told our guys that they can't get more rebounds than us. They can't force turnovers.
“We are working with a limited margin for error, so we cannot give a team thirteen extra shots on a road without Joel. But, we think we're going win a match.”
Philadelphia will need to play at most one more game without Embiid. He is currently out with an orbital fracture, concussion and other injuries that he sustained in Game 6 against Toronto. The 76ers acknowledged that they let a winnable match slip, especially with Lowry returning with a strained hamstring and the Heat holding them down offensively.
“We're not trying not to miss shots. However, things we can control are rebounding and not turning over the basketball,” he said. James HardenThe 16-year old scored 16 points from 5-of-13 shooting. He had just four free throws, five assists, and five turnovers. “Those are things we can control and we will have a better chance to win the next game.”
A collective dissatisfaction was also expressed over how Miami managed to control the game with its physicality. Miami All-Star center Bam AdebayoIn Embiid’s absence, Embiid played roughshod and finished with 24 points on 8-10 shooting with 12 rebounds. Four assists were also recorded in 33 minutes.
The 76ers were particularly disappointed with their performance in the third quarter. After trailing by one at halftime, the Heat controlled the glass and surged back to the lead. This was partly due to Philly's misses.
“I think we have the looks we want,” she stated. Tobias HarrisHe continued his impressive performance with 27 points, 11-for-18 shooting in just 36 minutes. Sometimes, it happens. It's not a win-or-lose situation.
“We'd be willing to wear the same look next game.” You just need to be ready and willing to accept the same look that you might get. They are just a matter of making them.
“Tonight they didn't fall to us, and I think that it dropped our energy on defense a bit.” We are hoping those shots will be there next game and that we capitalize.
Embiid will be replaced in the starting lineup. DeAndre Jordan, was minus-22 within 17 minutes. Backup Paul ReedIn his 13 minutes of play, he was productive with four points, nine rebound and four assists. He also took five fouls.
Rivers stated that Jordan will play in Game 2 on Wednesday and for as long Embiid remains out. He said that he performed better in the second half than he did in the first, which saw the 76ers fall behind immediately.
Rivers stated, “We like DJ. We're going to continue starting him regardless of whether or not you like it.” Rivers said, “That's exactly what we're going to do because our guys believe that he's good.” We asked our key men at halftime and it was funny because we thought about it. Paul MillsapThey gave us good minutes and, to a man that was, that's where they wanted.
According to the 76ers, they feel confident that they can win the series in Game 2 based on what they have learned in Game 1.
Harden explained that Joel is missing, but it's not within our control. “We have to get out there and do our best, and I'm sure we will.