After beating the 76ers in six games, the Miami Heat will face either the Bucks or the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Heat Catch Fire Early in the Second Half
After a very even half resulting in Miami leading by just one point, the Heat erupted in the third quarter, extending their lead to 16 points. The third quarter hot streak was led by Heat Forward Jimmy Butler, who scored 14 in the third quarter alone. It was this excellent scoring by Butler that elevated the Heat above the Sixers in this series. Miami also got a huge boost from Forward/Center Bam Adebayo, who scored 10 in the contest. Adebayo led the game in field goal percentage, shooting a perfect 100% from the field on five shots. Perhaps the most unexpected performance of the entire game came from Heat guard Max Strus, who had 20 points. Strus also led the game in +/-, with a total of +23 in the matchup.
Heat Maintain Their Lead in the Fourth Quarter
After the 76ers cut their deficit from 16 to 11 to end the third quarter, Philadelphia was looking to cut the Miami lead quickly. Coming into the fourth quarter on a little bit of a run, the 76ers had to keep this momentum to creep back into the game. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, Miami lead got to 20 points at its peak. The Sixers’ run came far too late, as the final score was 99-90, in favor of Miami.
What’s Next for Miami and Philadelphia?
The Miami Heat will now wait for the Bucks and Celtics series to come to a close. Once a winner is declared, the Heat will prepare to play that team. Miami has faced Milwaukee four times this past season, winning two and losing two. Against Boston, Miami has won only once and lost twice. Philadelphia will have a long offseason to look forward to, as they must decide which players will help them elevate to the next level, and which will not.