The Philadephia 76ers just can’t beat the Miami Heat, even when they are missing one of their star players. Dwayne Wade sat out tonight’s game, but the result was the same: Heat 99 – Sixers 93.
The Sixers played a good game against one of the league’s best teams. They actually led at the half 54-51. But in crunch time, when the game was on the line, the Heat could rely on their go-to guy, LeBron James and the Sixers have no counterpart.
Evan Turner played almost 40 minutes, scored 26 points, and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Sixers in both categories. But at a key point in the game, with around four minutes left, when the Sixers had cut the Heat’s 10 point lead down to four, Turner came up short on consecutive plays. First he threw the ball away and then he missed a mid-range jumper. Lou Williams didn’t help by missing three close shots in the paint in the fourth quarter as well.
On the other side, LeBron James led the Heat with 41 points. Andre Iguogala had to leave the game in the third quarter with an eye injury. So without Iguodala to defend him, when no one else on the Heat could hit a basket in the fourth quarter, James scored 14 in a row. When the Sixers had cut the lead down to five points with 90 seconds left in the game, James caught the defense napping and scored on an alley-oop dunk. Then in the last minute, he hit five of six free throws to ice the game.
You need a closer in basketball just like you need in baseball. The Heat has one, the Sixers do not. End of story.
The Sixers now fall a game and a half behind the Celtics in the Atlantic Division. Next up is a home game against Toronto.