First Meeting with Miami
It will be a shorthanded showdown in South Philadelphia Tuesday, as the 76ers (7-4) meet the Miami Heat (4-4) for the first time this season.
The Sixers enter Tuesday’s contest on the second half of a back-to-back, taking a 112-94 loss to the healthier Hawks Monday in Atlanta.
The Sixers took a 32-28 advantage in the first frame, led by Joel Embiid’s 16 first-quarter points, but struggled to overcome the Hawks’ balanced performance, as all five Atlanta starters finished in double digits.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, and Vincent Poirier all remain out due to league health and safety protocols.
Embiid returned to the lineup Monday (Embiid missed Saturday’s meeting with Denver due to back tightness), notching his seventh double-double in his nine appearances this season, totalling 24 points, 11 rebounds, a block, and a steal in 23 minutes.
Embiid and Ben Simmons (left knee swelling) are both probable for Tuesday’s matchup.
Mike Scott also re-joined the rotation, and stepped into the starting lineup, Monday after being sidelined with a left knee contusion.
In his second ever and second straight NBA start, Tyrese Maxey scored 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals, after scoring a historic 39 points Saturday against Denver.
Isaiah Joe led the bench unit Monday with a career-high 18 points, including four 3-pointers, plus two rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
“This is more of a game about getting our guys some run, at the end of the day,” Rivers said postgame. “Getting guys a couple reps up and down the floor, and then trying to get our guys to be ready for tomorrow.”
Following Monday’s loss, Doc Rivers said the available Sixers’ health remains top of mind, as those available continue to play heavier-than-usual minutes.
“It’s always a good experience to get more playing time,” Dakota Mathias (14 pts, 2 reb, 4 ast) said. “Our goal is to win the game, but we understand we’re shorthanded, and I think all of us want to go out there and play hard, and keep improving.”
Tuesday’s contest tips at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The Heat (4-4) will also enter Tuesday’s matchup with a heavily shortened roster, absent Bam Adebayo, Avery Bradley, Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Maurice Harkless, Udonis Haslem, Kendrick Nunn, and KZ Opala all due to league health and safety protocols.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Meyers Leonard (left shoulder strain) is questionable, while Kelly Olynyk (left groin contusion) and Gabe Vincent (right knee soreness) are probable.
The Heat visit Philadelphia for a two-game series, the second of which will be played Thursday at The Center.
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
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