On Tuesday night, the Sixers (29-24) were in Miami taking on a Heat squad looking for a 16th straight victory at home; Miami has dominated Philadelphia of late, winning their last ten regular season meetings coming into tonight’s game.
Unfortunately, a Wade-less Heat team relied on Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Mario Chalmers to carry Miami past the 76ers, 99-93.
Both teams started out red-hot from the floor. They played another game of “back-and-forth” through out the quarter. There was great ball movement, offensive flow, and shooting as the Sixers forced the ball up quite a few times. Lebron scored 12 in the quarter to give the Heat a 2-point lead, 29-27, at the end of the 1st.
The 2nd quarter was all Sixers. Evan Turner took advantage of rookie Terrel Harris, scoring 11 of his 26 points in the quarter; he hit 4 consecutive jumpers from the same exact spot. Andre Iguodala put on a great show of highlight reel slams. He threw down two incredible fast break dunks, one of which from the free throw line! The other was a Blake Griffin-esque power jam. At the half, the Sixers led 54-51 even with a buzzer-beater by James. Turner had 15 points and Iguodala had 9. Lebron led all scorers with 18.
In the third, the Heat took over. Chris Bosh nailed a corner 3-pointer (yes, a 3 pointer from the dinosaur) to give the Heat a 5-point lead with 9:17 left, and Chalmers followed that up with a three of his own to stretch Miami’s lead to 8 with just over 8 minutes to play.
Later in the quarter, Iguodala was trying to find a teammate to pass to, as he was stuck in the lane. He was poked in the left eye by Chalmers and went down in a heap. He left the game and would not return. I do not know what the refs saw, but that play looked like a cold-blooded act of bad sportsmanship. Mario had no intentions of trying to get a steal. He just threw his arm up and “caught” Iguodala’s eye. It was clearly intentional. Nevertheless, the loss of Iguodala led to the Sixers demise.
After LeBron made a jumper, he got the ball back and went baseline, kicked it out to Chalmers, who stuck a three, making it 73-65 Miami. They never looked back.
Later in the fourth, the Sixers played hard and almost came all the way back. They cut it to three on a Lou Williams floater. In the end, however, it was just too much Lebron. He hit 3 of 4 jumpers in the fourth quarter on his way to an unbelievable 41-point night; he also shot 15-25 from the field.
Chalmers connected with Lebron on an alley-oop to send the dagger into the Sixers’ hearts in the final minute.
The aforementioned LeBron added 6 rebounds and 3 steals to go along with his 41 points, and Mario Chalmers added 19 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists as well. Chris Bosh also scored 17.
The Sixers drop to 1.5 back of Boston for the Atlantic Division. The Sixers play the Raptors at home, Wednesday, in a must-win game.