After winning Game 3 with style, the 76ers have the opportunity, still on their floor, to equalize and completely restart the series.
The first half is successful for the locals, who plant 30 points in the first quarter, half of which are scored by a Joel Embiid in great shape. The Heat are more clumsy, but their attack is better distributed, and this allows them to point to -2 after twelve minutes (30-28).
Despite a small air pocket at the start of the second quarter, which coincides with the passage on the bench of the “Process”, the Sixers continue in a generally convincing way their march forward. Thanks in particular to the rise of James Harden, who scored 10 of his 13 points in the first period in the second quarter, and the confirmation of the awakening of Danny Green (11 points, 3/3 to 3-points) .
At the end of this first period generally dominated by the men of Doc Rivers, the gap is +8 (64-56) in favor of the Sixers, who look great on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center.
After the break, Miami did not let go, like the incredible third quarter of Jimmy Butler, who scored 17 points. The 76ers, despite an attack a little in the hard, survive and keep the advantage after three quarters (89-85), largely thanks to Joel Embiid who pounded near the circle.
The last act is calmer for the locals. The Heat can still count on a very good Jimmy Butler, who reaches the 40-point mark, but the winger is a little too lonely and Miami’s formation is too short in the final minutes. After a final “stepback” from James Harden which sealed the victory for Philly (116-108) and made the Wells Fargo Center roar. The series will return to Philadelphia.
Badly embarked last week, the Sixers equalized, the return of Joel Embiid completely changed the game, and the most exciting is yet to come.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Heat’s outdoor address crumbles. Best team in the league during the regular season in the exercise of 3-point shooting, the Heat chained two very complicated matches in this area. In Game 3, Jimmy Butler and his teammates had converted only 7 shots out of 30 attempts, before doing worse in this fourth inning, with a 7/35. Result without appeal of this failure of address: two defeats. Miami can no longer adjust the sights behind the arc.
– Danny Green is alive and well! His performances in Miami, during the first two matches of the series, were particularly worrying. But since the return to Philadelphia, the back is back in color. After a Game 3 at 21 points, 7/9 at 3-points, he continues with a second convincing outing. In 24 minutes, he scored 11 points at 3/4 behind the arc. It’s a 10/13 combined over the two meetings, and it coincides, not without surprise, with two victories for the 76ers. When the former UNC plant his outside shots, Philly is doing well.
✅ Joel Embiid & James Harden. Both All-Stars carried the club to a landmark win, and that bodes well for the rest of this streak. The first started very strong, scoring 15 of the club’s 30 points in the first quarter, before gradually leaving control to his teammate to focus on defense. The bearded fullback rose to prominence in the second quarter, and then stood out throughout the second period. The Cameroonian compiles 24 points (7/13) and 11 rebounds, when the native of California approaches the triple-double, with 31 points (8/18), 7 rebounds and 9 assists.
✅ Tyrese Maxey. The young “combo-guard” perfectly fulfilled his role as third thief. With in particular a very good passage in the third quarter, during which he brought a welcome boost to the Sixers a little in the hard in attack, he signs a match less “flashy” than his two teammates, but nevertheless complete : 18 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists.
✅ Jimmy Butler. As in Game 3, we have a bit of the feeling that the Heat winger fought alone during this Game 4. Constantly fully in his efforts, “Jimmy Buckets” planted 40 points, including 17 points in the only third quarter (and 25 in total in the second half), also with 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. An intense and complete match, just like his game. Unfortunately, it’s too short to avoid defeat for his team, who may have let him down a bit in attack.
⛔️ Kyle Lowry. Another difficult evening for the leader, who has been juggling physical glitches since the start of the playoffs. Visibly bothered by his hip and back during the match, he notably returned to the locker room twice, and his performance on the floor was not very memorable. The native of Philadelphia, who was therefore passing through his region, signs a small game with 6 points at 3/10 on shots (and 3 rebounds, 7 assists). It’s better than his Game 3 point zero…
Game 5: in Miami, on the night of Tuesday May 10 to Wednesday May 11, at 1:30 a.m.