American Airlines Arena Miami

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat Pick & Prediction MAY 10TH 2022

Logo Philadelphia 76ers
Logo Miami Heat

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Lost in the mania about Joel Embiid's dramatic, successful return in consecutive wins over the Miami Heat is that the Philadelphia 76ers have a former Most Valuable Player who played like it Sunday night.

After going scoreless and picking up two first quarter fouls, James Harden reminded everyone why he's just four years removed from an MVP. He finished with 31 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, of a 116-108 victory in Game 4. He added nine assists and seven rebounds.

Harden, Embiid and Philadelphia try to take a 3-2 lead on Tuesday night in Miami when the Eastern Conference semifinal series resumes.

Prior to Sunday night, Harden hadn't scored more than 22 points in any of the 76ers' nine playoff games. It certainly didn't look like he would go off when he joined teammate Tobias Harris in early foul trouble. But Harden delivered the kind of performance over the final three quarters one would expect from a former MVP.

His fourth quarter explosion included his trademark stepback 3-pointer from the top of the key that gave Philadelphia an insurmountable 114-103 lead with 1:07 remaining.

"We're getting more confident as the series goes on," Harden said. "Those first two games (were) a blur. But obviously, having Joel and having our full team, we kind of know what to expect. We know where to execute on both sides of the ball.

"It just makes the job a lot easier. Think about: We're still a fairly new team. We're damn near two months. So, when we finally catch a rhythm and finally find something that works, Joel goes off for a couple of games. So, we're finally settling into the series."

Not only Harden, but this year's MVP finalist and league scoring champion, too.

Embiid contributed 24 points and 11 rebounds in his second game back from a fractured orbital bone and concussion. All five starters finished in double figures as the 76ers drained 16 of 33 3-pointers.

Meanwhile, the Heat are looking for the scoring balance that marked their two double-figure home wins in Miami. Jimmy Butler tried his best to carry the team with 33 and 40 points in the losses in Philadelphia but got precious little help.

Bam Adebayo was a non-entity in Game 3, although he did chip in 21 points on Sunday night. Tyler Herro helped some off the bench but wasn't efficient. And Kyle Lowry (hamstring) had trouble again in Game 4, prompting coach Erik Spoelstra to say that he was unsure if Lowry would be available in Game 5.

There's also the matter of Miami going cold from distance. In light of the 76ers' work from 3-point range Sunday night, the Heat's 7 of 35 marksmanship from the arc looks even worse.

"I thought we had some really good looks. We just missed them," Spoelstra said.

Miami has something else to worry about. Reserve center Dewayne Dedmon sat out Game 4 with an illness and his status for Game 5 isn't known. Dedmon's presence would at least give the team six more fouls to use against Embiid.

--Field Level Media

Philadelphia 76ers
Miami Heat

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade, playing the final home game of his NBA career, scored 30 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 122-99 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

With his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, sitting courtside, Wade made 10 of 23 shots, including 4 of 10 on attempts from beyond the arc. It was his second-highest scoring game of the season.

But it was a bittersweet night for the Heat (39-42), who were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the evening when the Detroit Pistons rallied from a 22-point deficit to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies.

This is the third time in the past five years that Miami has failed to make the playoffs. Prior to that, they won four straight Eastern Conference titles and two NBA championships with Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh as core stars.

Wade, who is retiring at age 37, will end his career on Wednesday at the Brooklyn Nets.

Miami, which snapped a four-game losing streak, also got 19 points and nine rebounds from Bam Adebayo. Hassan Whiteside added 15 points and nine rebounds, and Goran Dragic dished a season-high 13 assists.

Philadelphia (50-31), which has already clinched the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, rested two of its stars: Joel Embiid, who was listed as having a knee injury; and JJ Redick (back).

The 76ers got 16 points from point guard Ben Simmons.

Wade, making his only start of his final season, scored on the first play of the game. He curled around an Adebayo screen, took a pass from Kelly Olynyk, gathered himself and dunked.

Miami used a 22-2 run and led 34-20 by the end of the first quarter. Wade had eight points in eight minutes.

The Heat increased their lead to 61-42 at halftime. In 17 first-half minutes, Wade had 14 points.

Miami stretched its lead to 91-60 and cruised from there.

The Heat finished the season 19-22 at home. It marked their fewest home wins since the 2007-2008 season.

--Field Level Media


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