With the Big Three running the show, the Heat forced the Sixers out of their home court Friday night. With Dwyane Wade scoring 26 and LeBron James dropping 19 and snagging 12 rebounds, the Heat are now 2-0 against the surprising Sixers in the shortened season.
Needing a jumpstart in the fourth quarter, LeBron started the quarter playing point guard, which sparked a dominant 15-0 run that put away the pesky Sixers late in the game. Although the game was closely contested for the first 36 minutes, LeBron helped Miami make the last four minutes nice and easy. The loss was just the third at home for the surging Sixers, who were hosting their first sell-out crowd.
The Sixers opened up the week against Orlando and Chicago at home, winning both contests. The Heat came into this game ruining any chances of a home-stand sweep and also snapped the Sixers’ four-game winning streak. On January 23, the last time these two teams met down in South Beach, the Heat easily crushed the Sixers 113-92, which was the Sixers’ first double-digit loss of the season. Entering the fourth quarter of last night, duplicating that feat seemed to far out of reach.
The last time the Heat played at Wells Fargo Center, they blew a six-point lead in less than two minutes in Game Four of the opening round of playoffs. Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams later sealed the deal with two late threes to win the game 86-82. However, even though the Sixers were eliminated a game later, fans and players are looking for something deeper than a 4-1 defeat in the first round of playoffs.
The Sixers have started out the season beautifully, showing themselves as an upcoming team in the East. Even the Heat couldn’t shake off the Sixers, as their lead was never greater than 7 in the first half.
This season, the Sixers have played extremely strong defense in the third quarter, and it continued into Friday’s contest. On Wednesday night, the Bulls managed to only score 11 points. The Magic managed to put up only 9. The Heat managed to score 16 points, but were 6-18 during that time. Although Chris Bosh went 0-10 in the third and the Heat’s lead was only two, the Sixers could not capitalize. Elton Brand and Tony Battie, two starters, went scoreless in the game.
Andre Iguodala, the Sixers’ controversial go-to scorer, continued to play hard when the game was all but over. He intercepted a pass from Wade in the post and drove down the court for a monster jam that got the crowd roaring. Iguodala, however, went 4-10, only scoring 10 points.
The Sixers could never take the lead in the third quarter and that’s what cost them the game. LeBron James took things into his own hands, scoring the last eight points of the third. Iggy did bury a half-court shot, but it was reversed after further review. The Sixers’ biggest weakness is their inability to score late, which is the consequence of not having a star. It certainly showed against the Heat.