76ers vs Heat

Live Updates: Miami Heat falls in NBA playoffs opener against Philadelphia 76ers

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The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most exciting squads in the NBA, and with the Eastern Conference wide open, they very well could make a run to the conference finals.

The Philadelphia 76ers might never lose again. Seriously. Despite not having Joel Embiid, despite playing its first playoff game, despite going against a cagey Miami Heat team, they won Game 1 easily, 130-103. It’s the 76ers’ 17th win in a row, which is remarkable.

They did so in their customary quick-strike fashion. The Heat actually led this game by four at halftime, thanks to a solid second quarter where they made the game choppy.

But 76ers coach Brett Brown made a brilliant adjustment, moving Ersan Ilyasova into the starting lineup in place of Amir Johnson. That was enough to kick Philly’s hyper-active defense into motion, and they held Miami to a single field goal in the first eight minutes of the third quarter. By then, the lead was 11, and it would only swell from there.

Ben Simmons dominated the game without scoring or shooting well, putting up a near- triple double with 17 points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds. J.J. Redick and Marco Belinelli combined for a whopping 51 points on 29 shots, while Ilyasova had 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Other than Kelly Olynyk, who dropped 26 points on 13 shots, nobody did much for Miami. Hassan Whiteside had just two points in 12 minutes and looked totally out of it defensively, which is the biggest problem of all.

Game 2 is Monday night at 8 p.m. If the 76ers are this dominant without Embiid, imagine what happens when he comes back.

Here’s how it happened.

In order to do that, they’ll first have to get past a talented Miami Heat team that is sure to be a tough customer. The third-seeded Sixers finished the regular season 52-30, riding into the playoffs with a 16-game winning streak. The sixth-seeded Heat finished the regular season at 44-38.

The 76ers and Heat are playing Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. Follow along with the highlights here:

1st Quarter

3:50 — Dywane Wade checks in and somehow gets his first basket. The next trip down, he fools Richaun Holmes with a pump fake to draw the foul. Father Prime, ladies and gentlemen.

6:42 — Ben Simmons is aggressive

Simmons came out and missed his first shot. It almost looked like he had some playoff jitters going on. But since then, he’s dominated, looking like the best player on the court because, well, he is.

Simmons only has four points and two assists, and he’s only shot one-of-four from the field, but the likely Rookie of the Year has dictated the pace of the game. That’s exactly the opposite of what the slow-mo Heat want on the road.

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