The Sixers came into the playoffs looking to make some noise under new coach Doug Collins, but only problem is they have to face the Miami Heat who are looking to make some noise of their own.
The Miami Heat (58-24) finished with the second best record in the East, and have to host the Philadelphia 76ers (41-41) in the first round of the playoffs. The Heat had their crowd wear all white today for a “Whiteout” on South Beach.
The Heat looked like they were in some early trouble when the Sixers jumped out to an early 17-8 behind the play of Jrue Holiday and Elton Brand. Miami took a timeout at the 6:39 mark, but the Sixers tried to make their lead bigger with a 8-3 run with the Heats’ coming off a Mike Bibby three-pointer.
With 4:11 left in the period and the Sixers led 25-11, but the Heat went on a run of their own as they got within eight on a Bibby three-pointer making it 25-17 before a Sixers timeout. The Sixers ended the first quarter with a 31-19, 12 point lead.
The second quarter began and the Heat bounced back cutting away at the Sixers leads with behind LeBron James, but mainly with help from Chris Bosh. Bosh scored six straight points to get the Heat within five points at 36-31. Mario Chalmers got the Heat within three with a floater.
The Sixers tried to hold on, but the Heat just kept pushing until Chalmers hit a three-pointer to give the Heat their first lead of the game at 39-38. Miami then pushed their lead seven before Philadelphia took a timeout. With 2:11 left the Sixers got within three with a Lou Williams three-pointer to make it 45-48. The Heat ended the quarter with a 54-49 lead going into halftime.
Miami opened the second half with a Dwayne Wade jumper, but the Sixers tried to cut into the lead, but a 10-5 run gave the Heat a 66-56 lead that force the Sixers to call a timeout. Bosh help pushed the Heat lead to 14 points with six points during an 8-2 run by the Heat that forced the Sixers to take another timeout.
The Heat opened the final period with an 11 point 80-69 lead, but a Thaddeus Young jumper cut it down to nine. Chalmers made 1 of 1 free-throw to make it an 81-71 game, but both teams went cold from the 11:12 mark to the 9:36 when Bosh made a free-throw.
Young made a layup and Elton Brand made jumper to make it an 82-75, but a Bosh jumper pushed it back to a nine point lead. The Heat got a big three-pointer from James Jones that pushed the Heat’s lead to 13 points. Young made back-to-back layups as the he sparked a 10-0 run with back-to-back three-pointers by Jrue Holiday to get within three, 85-88.
With 1:23 left in the period Young made another layup to make it an 89-92, but the Wade made a pair of free-throws that sparked a 5-0 run to close out the game over the last minute of the game.
Thaddeus Young led the Philadelphia 76ers off the bench with 20 points in 28 minutes with 11 rebounds. Jrue Holiday scored 19 points with five rebounds and assists with Elton Brand chipping in with 17 points and seven rebounds. Lou Williams came off the bench and scored 10 points with four assist.
The Miami Heat was lead by Chris Bosh who scored a game high 25 points with 12 rebounds. LeBron James scored 21 points, and he grabbed 14 rebounds with five assists. Dwayne Wade finished with 17 points, but had seven rebounds and five assist. James Jones came off the bench to finish with nine points and five rebounds.
The Heat now owns a 1-0 lead in this seven game series, and will host the Sixers again on Monday, April 18, 2011 at 7 PM (EST).