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Tyler Herro scored 25 points, Bam Adebayo finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, and the Miami Heat topped the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers 106-92 on Monday night in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Jimmy Butler added 15 points for the top-seeded Heat, who got 10 from Gabe Vincent and P.J. Tucker.
The 76ers were without Joel Embiid, the MVP finalist who isn’t even in Miami while recovering from an orbital fracture and concussion — injuries suffered in Philadelphia’s first-round-clinching win at Toronto. He’s not expected to play in Game 2.
And as would be expected, he was missed. Tobias Harris scored 27 points for Philadelphia, which got 19 from Tyrese Maxey and 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists from James Harden.
Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) drives to the basket over Philadelphia 76ers forward Paul Reed (44) and guard Matisse Thybulle (22) during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Monday, May 2, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Game 2 is Wednesday in Miami.
Miami came out as aggressive as could be, putting Tucker on Harden and having him guard him the entire 94 feet of the floor in a similar approach to what the Heat utilized against Atlanta’s Trae Young in the first round series.
It worked — for a while. Miami led by as many as 12 in the opening quarter, then a 10-2 run fueled by eight points from Herro gave the Heat a 13-point edge at 37-24 to mark their biggest of the half. The margin was still 46-36 midway through the second after another Herro basket.
The rest of the half was all Philly.
Miami went 1 for 9 from the field over the final 6 minutes of the half, with four turnovers in there as well, and Philadelphia went on a 15-4 spurt. Harden’s shot in the lane with 28 seconds left put the 76ers up 51-50, their first lead of the night and the score that they took into the locker room.
The 76ers scored the first four points of the second half, going up by five. That was as good as it got for the 76ers.
Adebayo took a bullet pass from Tucker for a dunk that put Miami up 62-61, and that would be the final lead change of the night. It was the start of a 10-0 run that built a cushion, and then an 13-2 run early in the fourth decided matters and pushed the Heat edge out to 98-77.
76ers: Philadelphia fell to 6-9 without Embiid this season. … DeAndre Jordan started in place of Embiid and had four points and two rebounds in 17 minutes. … Georges Niang was 0 for 7, all those shots from 3-point range.
Heat: Kyle Lowry (hamstring) missed his third consecutive game. … Backup center Dewayne Dedmon picked up three fouls in a 23-second span of the first quarter. He then had two more in a 1:46 span of the third, giving him five fouls in 4:14 of playing time.
The teams combined to shoot 7 for 33 in the first half from 3-point range — 3 for 17 by the 76ers, 4 for 16 by the Heat.
Heat guard Duncan Robinson, who led Miami in games played for a third consecutive regular season, didn’t appear in Game 1. It’s the first time since April 2019 that he dressed but didn’t play, ending a streak of 256 games including playoffs. He missed three games this season while on Miami’s inactive list.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Miami.