Philadelphia 76ers' James Harden (1) goes up for a shot against Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Miami Heat Remain Perfect at Home, Take 3-2 Series Lead Over 76ers

The Miami Heat are now a perfect 6-0 at home in the NBA playoffs, manhandling the Philadelphia 76ers 120-85. Miami is now one win away from a return to the Eastern Conference Finals, in what would be their sixth appearance in the last twelve seasons.

Heat Check

Jimmy Butler continued his playoff brilliance, netting 23 points and shooting 60% from the field. Max Strus contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Victor Oladipo scored 13. Bam Adebayo put up 12 points, while Tyler Herro and P.J. Tucker each brought in 10.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra praised Butler’s efforts, calling him a great competitor and emphasizing the team’s confidence whenever the ball is in his hands.

Philadelphia’s Struggles

The Sixers did not get much out of their three-headed monster of Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tobias Harris. Embiid scored 17 points, while Harden and Harris brought in 14 and 12, respectively.

Embiid, an MVP candidate, has been hobbled by injuries this entire postseason. He has been sporting a mask after suffering a facial fracture and concussion, in addition to playing through a torn thumb ligament.

An already hampered Embiid went through not one, but two injury scares in Game 5. He grabbed his back after diving into the baseline seats attempting to save a loose ball in the first quarter.

After remaining in the game, Embiid suffered a blow to the face in the second quarter when Heat center Dewayne Dedmon, trying for a rebound, pushed the ball into Embiid’s mask. Embiid was on the floor for several minutes being tended to by team doctors.

In total, Philadelphia shot just 36.5% from the field and 28.1% from three point land.

Game Six Anticipation

As the series returns to Philadelphia, Spoelstra says Game Six will be a tough challenge for his top-seeded Heat team. However, he acknowledges that his players are more than up for it.

Having home court is nice, but if Embiid and the 76ers want to extend this series to seven games they need to improve their scoring and overall gameplay efficiency. Tipoff is Thursday at 7:00 P.M. on ESPN.

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