With just three regular season games remaining, the 76ers (52-27) will play their final home game of the regular season Thursday, hosting the Miami Heat (42-37).
Thursday’s meeting marks the third and final in-season meeting between the Sixers and Heat, after the teams split their home-and-home on Feb. 27 and March 1, with each club winning their away game.
The Sixers won the March 1 game, 119-96, fueled by a standout night from the Tyrese Maxey-James Harden backcourt unit (Joel Embiid - left foot soreness - did not play).
Maxey finished with a game-high 27 points, plus four rebounds and a game-high seven assists, and Harden added 23 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
Paul Reed notched a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double in the win, leading the bench unit and finishing at a game-best +26.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Sixers continue to hold the No. 3 seed in the East, 2.0 games behind the No. 2 Celtics (54-25). The Heat hold the No. 7 seed, 1.0 games behind the No. 6 Brooklyn Nets (43-36).
Both the Sixers and Heat will play two more regular season games following Thursday’s matchup.
The Heat are 6-4 in their last 10 games, most recently beating the Pistons, 118-105, Tuesday.
Jimmy Butler leads the Heat in scoring this season, averaging 22.9 points per game. He also leads Miami in assists (5.3 apg) and steals (1.9 spg). Bam Adebayo leads the Heat in rebounding (9.3 rpg).
After his 52-point, 13-rebound outing in Tuesday’s win over Boston, Embiid continues to lead the league in scoring, averaging 33.3 points per game. Harden leads the NBA in assists, averaging 10.8 assists per game.
Embiid now has three 50-point double-doubles this season, more than any other NBA player this season.
Thursday’s matchup is a 7:30 p.m. ET tip.
Tuesday’s Key Performers:
Quote to Note:
Joel Embiid on improvements to be made and takeaways from Tuesday’s matchup ahead of the playoffs:
“Just stay together. Defensively, like I said we had a lot of breakdowns, starting with me. I’ve got to be better. And then offensively, just got to keep playing together. Tonight, we had a lot of wide-open shots that we missed. Some nights you make them, some nights you miss them. You can talk about how much we tried to lose that game at the end, but you know we also fought through, being down and coming back, and taking the lead even though offensively that wasn’t one of our best nights. So that’s a positive. So you look at the positive and you just find ways to get better.”
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