With the season on the line, the Sixers collapsed at the finish line, dropping the game, 99-90, and the series, 4-2, to the Miami Heat. While they didn’t play very inspirational ball in the first half, the Sixers had solid halves of Joel Embiid and James Harden and found themselves one point behind. They completely collapsed in the third quarter, shooting a 6-of-21 from the field in the frame. Behind a 32-point performance by Jimmy Butler and 20 points by Max Strauss, the Heat would take a double-digit lead and never look back.
Joel Embiid gave her everything his body gave him, putting in 20 points and 12 rebounds, but was snagged off the field when he shot 7 of 22. James Harden was strong in the first half of 11 points before really starting to fade; He did not score in the second half. Therese Maxi had 20 points, but it was too few, and it was too late. As the Sixers head into another season with more questions than answers, here are some immediate reactions from Game 6.
- Danny Green’s injury looked pretty brutal. Much of Embiid’s weight fell on his left leg. This is a huge blow to a team that is already struggling with wing depth in this series. Despite his inconsistencies, losing Danny Green in the second round is a huge blow to this team for the second year in a row.
- Greene felt the lack of spaces immediately, as the attack really suffered within minutes long from Thybulle. The Sixers have already struggled to get Embiid the ball in the Miami area, but it’s even more difficult when they are basically playing 4 vs 5 offensively.
Heat’s defense completely ignores Mathis Thibault.
Herro is hanging in the lane ready to help, Dedmon leaves the basket to double Harris, and the Sixers can’t move anything. pic.twitter.com/4UQmS3hFVQ
Tom West (@TomWestNBA) 12 May 2022
- Jimmy Butler was an absolute menace in the series, especially in the games in Philly. He completed where he left off, with nine points out of the 32 that earned him first place. Max Strauss was another thorn in Philly’s side, with 16 first-half points. The Sixers were lucky with only three down after the first quarter.
- The Sixers were bolstered by their superstars in the second quarter. Although he’s still struggling with his mid-range game, Embiid left it all there. He sat just a minute into the first half, tossing his body literally all over the field. He finished the first half with 6/14/2.
- James Harden also had a solid first-half performance, with 11 points (3 out of 5 3PT) and five assists, but getting any contribution from anyone else allowed Miami to lead by one point by half.
the other half
- It’s a little surprising how intense the heat came out of the half than the Sixers came out with. The Heat started Round Three at 23-4, during which the Sixers looked like they were still mid-February, not a knockout match. The lack of sharpness for a Sixer not named Embiid he showed in the last two games was frustrating.
- Completely collapsed in the third quarter. Once the Heat hit the lead, the Sixers folded like a beach chair. It’s disappointing to see the season end this way. There was a small seven-point boom from Shake Milton which seemed like the weakest sign of life, and Maxi had a small blast in the fourth, but the Heat crushed both. It’s always been an uphill battle to win this series with Embiid injured, but the fact that he felt like he was giving way to a broken face more than any of his teammates is frankly a really appropriate way to sum up the entire season.