An NBA playoff pairing a year ago, the 76ers (39-20) meet the Miami Heat (32-29) for the first time this season on Monday night at home. The Sixers conclude a three-game homestand before embarking on a weeklong, five-game road trip.
Miami dropped four straight games entering this home-and-home with the Sixers. The two teams will jump it up again Wednesday at Miami-Dade Arena.
The third and final contest in the regular season series will see the Sixers host again on April 6.
"A Heat game," first-year 76er P.J. Tucker said of what he's anticipating from his previous team. "Guys are going to come out and play hard, play their style of basketball. It's another challenge. We have them home and then away, so that's going to be tough. So we just lock back in the next two days."
The most recent loss for the Heat occurred Saturday in Charlotte, a 108-103 Hornets win despite a game-high 33 points from Tyler Herro and 28 from Jimmy Butler. Hornets big man Mark Williams notched an 18-point, 20-rebound double-double.
Butler leads the Heat in scoring at 21.9 points per game, narrowly ahead of All-Star Bam Adebayo, who averages 21.4 points as well as a team-leading 9.9 rebounds per contest.
Herro (right rib contusion) was listed as questionable on the Sunday evening injury report. Kyle Lowry (left knee soreness) also held a questionable status. Recent Heat acquisition Kevin Love (left knee hyperextension) is probable, while rookie first-round pick Nikola Jović (lower back stress reaction) and Omer Yurtseven (left ankle surgery) are out.
Dewayne Dedmon, who played in Miami for parts of the last three seasons before being signed by the Sixers on Feb. 14, remains out due to left hip soreness.
The Sixers were on the wrong side of a 110-107 result on Saturday against the first-place Boston Celtics (44-17). With just about two seconds remaining in a tie game, Jayson Tatum connected on a go-ahead triple from the top of the key. A miraculous, three-quarter court shot from Joel Embiid then went in, but the basket was waved off as time had expired.
Looking ahead once more, the Heat currently rank near the bottom of the league in offensive efficiency, but near the top on the defensive end. The Sixers, meanwhile, are inside the top-10 for both.
Monday is a 7 p.m. start in South Philadelphia.
Quote to Note:
Joel Embiid following the Celtics game:
"We're right there. Obviously, great team, like I said last time we played them. They're extremely deep. Anybody can have it going on any given night, especially if their best player is not playing well. They have a lot of guys that can pick it up. For us, I think we're right there. Being up 15, I thought we were not all ready to play basketball, and we just got to be better, all of us."
Saturday’s Top Performances:
- In 40 minutes of play, Embiid put up 41 points (12-21 fg, 17-18 ft) with 12 rebounds, five assists, and three blocked shots – his fifth 40-10-5 game already this season (ties career high) and the 14th such game of his career (76ers record).
- Nine of Harden’s 21 points were free throws (9-9 ft). He added six rebounds, eight assists, and three steals in 41 minutes.
- In doing so, Harden became the third player in NBA history with at least 24,000 points, 6,500 assists and 1,500 steals for his career.
- Harris scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting and a 3-for-5 effort from long range.
- Tucker pulled down a season-high 16 rebounds, while adding seven points – he made two of his four 3-point attempts.
- It was Tucker’s seventh career game with at least 15 rebounds, and his first since Jan. 8, 2020 as a member of the Houston Rockets.
Follow Along Monday:
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA TV
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic