HEAT 102 - 76ers 104 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant
by Joe Beguiristain

The Miami HEAT fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 104-102 Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center. James Johnson led the way for the HEAT with 22 points.

1. JJ At It Again

Aggressive James Johnson is the best James Johnson.

After attacking Toronto quite often on Tuesday, Johnson simply did more of the same against Philadelphia.

In particular, JJ got going in the second quarter and scored 11 in the period. Although he knocked down a few shots from the perimeter, his most impressive play of the flurry came on this and-one finish off a nice roll to the basket:

While that was great, JJ’s presence was important in the second half, as he settled down Miami and created easy looks for his teammates with the 76ers mounting a comeback.

On the flip side of the ball, the 30-year-old competed hard against both Ben Simmons and Trevor Booker throughout the night.

In addition to his team-high 22 points on a very efficient 8-of-10 shooting, Johnson also amassed five assists, four boards and a steal.

2. Dragić With A Nice Start

Goran Dragić picked up where he left off on Tuesday and got off to a quick start against the 76ers. In fact, the Slovenian led all scorers with 16 points at halftime, including this nifty finish early on:

Naturally, Dragić mixed things up with drives like that and his usual catch-and-shoot treys.

Although he didn’t score that much in the second half, that doesn’t take anything away from his torrid start.

When it was all said and done, Dragić tallied 18 points, four assists and three rebounds.

3. Whiteside Sharp On Both Ends

To nobody’s surprise, Hassan Whiteside came through with a number of dunks like this against Philadelphia…

…but he was also really impactful on the defensive end early on.

More often than not, the big fella rotated well and altered a bunch of shots at the rim. Of course, he also came away with a game-high three blocks, including this one against Simmons on the perimeter:

In all, Whiteside totaled 16 points, 10 rebounds and a plus-five rating to go along with his aforementioned three blocks.

Game Note:

-Kelly Olynyk (left shoulder strain) sat out. Derrick Jones Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment), Derrick Walton Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment), Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery) and Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-With the All-Star Break on the horizon, the HEAT won’t be back in action until Friday, Feb. 23 against the Pelicans in New Orleans. After that, Miami will return home to face the Memphis Grizzlies the following night at 7:30 PM. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.

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