Back in Florida after a missed visit to Pennsylvania, the Heat started this Game 5 on a high note, like this first quarter at 13/26 on shots (31 points). As in the previous match, it was Jimmy Butler who shone from the start, with 11 points. The Sixers lack rhythm and confidence in attack (8/20), and to make matters worse, they give the stick to be beaten: the Heat scores 8 points on the 4 lost balls of Doc Rivers’ band.
The second quarter is little more reassuring for the Sixers, who display a poor 7/20 on shots, as Joel Embiid is jostled and hurt his face despite his protective mask, after an unintentional blow from Dewayne Dedmon . A good passage from Victor Oladipo brings the gap to +18, but a few baskets from James Harden and Tobias Harris finally allow Philly to limit the damage at the break (56-44).
The few promises displayed by the 76ers at the end of the first period were quickly swept away by the sinking of the second half. In total loss in attack, with only 41 points scored at 16/45 on shots, the 76ers lost their footing and were dropped for good halfway through the third quarter. The difference reached +37 (!!) in the last act, and the end of the game was unsurprisingly garbage time, as the spectators left the room well before the final buzzer.
Dominated in Philadelphia, the Miami players, who won a 6th victory in as many home matches in these 2022 playoffs, signed the best possible reaction. The Heat offers a match point and will have the opportunity to qualify for the Eastern Conference Finals at Game 6 in Philadelphia on Thursday.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The return of Duncan Robinson. In the closet since the start of the series, the Heat sniper reappeared, to the applause of the public who had probably missed him. His performance, 4 points in 13 minutes, is rather anecdotal, but we especially remember the tactical choice of his coach, Erik Spoelstra, who lowered Victor Oladipo’s minutes during this match. The sign of a gradual and permanent return of the former Michigan in the rotation of the Heat?
– The Heat have regained some semblance of an outside address. In very great difficulty in this exercise during the two previous matches in Philadelphia, the Heat reconciled with shooting behind the arc in this Game 5. With a 13/33, which always leaves room for a better selection of shots, Miami’s troops recovered and looked more like the team that finished with the best percentage from behind the arc in the regular season.
– No Kyle Lowry. It was expected, given his physical condition which was painful to see in Game 4. The leader, hampered by physical glitches since the start of the playoffs, was absent for this fifth game, and it seems unlikely to see him again. the whole series. Even without him, the Heat have quite a bit of leeway.
TOPS / FLOPS
✅ The Heat Collective. Everyone benefited from this victory in Miami: seven players scored 10 points or more! Special mention to Jimmy Butler obviously, who signs a high quality performance once again, with 23 points (9/15), 9 rebounds and 6 assists. If the game had been a little more contested in the second period, it’s a safe bet that “Jimmy Buckets” would have ended with a triple-double. Big game from Max Strus too, who quietly compiled 19 points (7/13) and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes.
✅ Joel Embiid. Difficult to draw positive from this match for the 76ers after such a sinking, but the resilience of the pivot is to be underlined. Embarrassed by his mask, then hit quite violently in the forehead by Dedmon, the “Process” gritted its teeth until its final exit, in the fourth quarter when the gap exceeded +30. In 33 minutes, he brings 17 points (7/12), 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
⛔️ Tyrese Maxey. The 76ers guard played his worst game of the playoffs. Not in rhythm, nor in confidence, generally like his team, he scored 9 small points at 2/10 on shots. Philly’s third thief will have to do better at home in Game 6 on Thursday, in what could potentially be the 76ers’ last game of the season.
Game 6: in Philadelphia, on the night of Thursday 12 to Friday 13, 01:00