With the series tied at 2-2, the Miami Heat entered into Game 5 with nothing but victory on their minds as they look to gain the upper hand in the series with the given homecourt advantage. The 76ers were of the similar mindset as having Game 6 at their home would prove to be a huge advantage of they were to get a win.
The Miami Heat went with their starting lineup of Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker and Bam Adebayo. The Philadelphia 76ers started with James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Danny Green, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid.
With the opening tip, the 76ers opened with the first points of the game from Joel Embiid. The Heat followed suite and they instantly responded going on a 7-2 run. The Heat controlled the momentum of the quarter unleashing Max Strus from 3 and Jimmy Butler on slashing duties. The 76ers defense was very lax and the Heat took full advantage of it as they widened the score gap from the start.
In the 2nd quarter, the 76ers hit their stride as they countered the Heat’s offense. They also steadily started scoring although not like the Heat but they were getting their shots to fall. For the Heat, Victor Oladipo carries where his teammates left and he showed glimpses of his past self. The Heat secured the lead by the end of the 1st half with a scoreline of 56-44.
Once the 3rd quarter started, Joel Embiid took charge as he went on the offensive. He attempted to rally his team forward but the Heat’s defense would not allow that. They were closing down the perimeter and made it extremely hard for the 76ers players to clog the paint.
On the offensive end, the heat moved the ball around. Giving everyone an opportunity to touch the ball gets them involved in the game and that is what the Heat did. When the 4th quarter started, the Heat took their two-way plays to another level.
They stopped every 76ers players making it difficult to get the shots in. The Heat’s bench were resilient as well. Despite their opponent not being able to hold their ground, the Heat did not let up on their attack. The score gap widened as the 76ers helplessly saw time run out and the final buzzer sounding.
Jimmy Butler led both teams in scoring with 23 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal. Max Strus came up big as well putting up a double-double of 19 points, 10 rebounds and an assist. Gabe Vincent followed up with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
For the 76ers, Joel Embiid was extremely atrocious in scoring putting up only 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. James Harden seemed like he forgot how to play basketball as he put up 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. Tobias Harris put up 12 points and 3 rebounds.
Takeaways from Game 5
The Miami Heat dominated the 76ers in Game 5 with a scoreline of 120-85. They have now extended their lead in the series with 3-2. The Heat have now one step towards the Eastern Conference Finals. The 76ers are now at the edge of a cliff. Their title chances seem farther away now. Hopefully, Embiid and the team can cook up something to bounce back else it is sayonara for ‘The Process’.