Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey, left, goes upper a shot against Miami Heat's Tyler Herro, center, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 21, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Heat Maintain Top Spot in the East Despite Loss to 76ers

Coming off a four-game home stretch, the Miami Heat slip on the road against a star-less Philadelphia 76ers squad on the road. The Heat fell to the 76ers 113-106 despite having five players scoring in double digits.

Led by a 28-point explosion by 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia was able to defend home court without two of their most prominent scorers. Big man Joel Embiid and guard James Harden were both ruled out of Monday’s contest. For the seven-foot tall center, he is still battling back soreness. Harden took the night off to rehab his hamstring.

Behind Maxey’s standout performance and Shake Milton‘s 20 points in the game, Philly outscored the Heat 33-28 in the final period.

Miami Heat Still at the Top

The Heat had three players hitting the 20-point mark. Jimmy Butler led the way with 27 points while Kyle Lowry added 20. All-Star center Bam Adebayo had narrowly missed a double-double with 22 points and nine rebounds.

Despite the loss, the Butler-led Heat are two and a half games ahead of the 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. With all media attention circulating the highly talented Brooklyn Nets this season, the Heat have flew under the radar as title contenders.

With the elevated play of Tyler Hero, the Heat are the pick for some to represent the Eastern Conference in the Finals. However, to do so, they may have to go through some serious competition, possibly including the defending champs.

The Milwaukee Bucks have found their stride, winning six of their last seven games. Including a win against the Heat earlier in the month, 120-119, at home. For Miami, a possible playoff matchup against the Bucks is no new task. Luckily, they have experienced major success containing reigning Finals MVP, Giannis Antetokoumpo.

In 2020, Butler and the Heat knocked off the Bucks in the second round of the playoffs en route to an Eastern Conference title. Miami’s defensive scheme and game plan gave the two-time league MVP fits on the offensive end.


Looking Ahead

As it stands today, Miami is set to face off against the Nets in the first round of the playoffs. But, as the season is nearing its end, the Miami are set to be back at home tomorrow to start another four-game home stretch.

In a possible Finals matchup, the Golden State Warriors faces off against Miami on Wednesday. Tip off is schedule is at 7:30 p.m.

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