Max Strus scored a corner 3-pointer with seven minutes remaining in Game 2 of the Heat’s second-round series versus the Philadelphia 76ers. Doc Rivers had to call a timeout after Miami went up 99-86. Jimmy Butler slipped out following a Tyler Herro screen to connect on an alley-oop on Miami’s next trip down the floor.
With 5:32 remaining, Victor Oladipo drilled a corner 3 to put the Heat up 104-86. Danny Green couldn’t respond with a missed 3.
With 1:39 remaining, Oladipo scored another three after Tyrese Maxey made several unpleasant plays to narrow Miami’s advantage. The Heat prevailed 119-103 against the Sixers to grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
This game was similar to Game 1 in various aspects. In the third quarter, Miami went on a run to take a double-digit lead. Which was comfortable enough that both teams emptied their benches in the final minutes. Duncan Robinson came in for the last 55 seconds after missing Game 1 due to injury.
Butler and Adebayo, the Heat’s explosive pair, led Miami to victory. Adebayo led the team with 23 points and nine rebounds on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 shooting from the foul line. Adebayo dominated in the paint against a Sixers team sans Joel Embiid. Putting his mediocre offensive performance from the first round in the rearview mirror.
Butler scored 22 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and two steals on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. After missing the first-round Game 5 finale due to a knee injury. The six-time All-Star labored in Game 1 and did not regain his lift. On the other hand, Butler seemed to be considerably more at ease from the start on Wednesday night.
The Heat’s most pressing concern is how to keep Maxey, who was also victorious against Miami during the regular season.
The second-year guard scored 34 points and utilized his agility to draw fouls or score layups in the paint. He’s created more difficulties in this series than James Harden, who went 6-of-15 from the field on Wednesday night.
Another difficulty arose when Tyler Herro had two costly turnovers in the fourth quarter. Resulting in transition baskets and a significant Heat lead slashing. Herro had a good game on Wednesday night, scoring 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting with three three-pointers. And grabbing seven rebounds, but the Heat can’t afford costly turnovers in close games.
In addition, For the Heat, Oladipo scored 19 points, including three crucial baskets in the fourth quarter. And 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc. Miami’s combinations featuring Butler and Oladipo failed to generate enough space to score in Game 1. It won’t be a problem if the two-time All-Star makes a reasonable 3-pointers. (We’ll also have to watch how Kyle Lowry’s return affects Oladipo’s rotation spot.)
The Heat will face the 76ers in Game 3 on Friday at 7 p.m.