James Harden and Tobias Harris

76ers Look to Even Round 2 Matchup in Miami

Sixers Face Heat in Game 2 on Wednesday
by Lauren Rosen

After falling in Game 1 Monday, the 76ers have a chance to even their Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup with the Heat Wednesday in Miami.

In the absence of MVP finalist Joel Embiid (facial fracture / concussion), the shorthanded Sixers took a one-point lead into halftime of Monday’s Game 1, but ultimately fell, 106-92.

Tobias Harris was the Sixers’ leading scorer in Game 1, finishing with 27 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 shooting from the foul line.

Tyrese Maxey added 19 points and two assists, while James Harden tallied 16 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.

Prior to Tuesday’s film session, the Sixers remained confident in their ability to steal a game on the road Wednesday.

“The biggest thing in the playoffs is you want to build off something,” Georges Niang said Tuesday. “I think we found some things, especially in the second quarter, a little bit in the third.”

Niang echoed themes expressed by Head Coach Doc Rivers and players across the roster - the team expects it can shoot the ball better in Game 2, and feels its defense in Game 1 showed promise for the games ahead.

“I thought our defense was solid, we stuck to our principles, so I’m looking forward to growing and improving on that in Game 2.”

Harris gathered praise for his defensive effort in the Sixers’ Round 1 matchup with the Toronto Raptors - an effort that continued in the Round 2 opener.

“He’s been taking it up another level intensity-wise,” Danny Green said Tuesday of Harris’ defensive effort in Game 1. “He’s attacking, he’s pushing… He did a great job for us last night.”

“[Tobias has] been great,” Rivers said. “He’s just playing the right way. He’s got the right spirit. He’s letting it come to him, and being aggressive at the same time - which is an art. It’s hard to do. And I thought he did that last night.”

Niang agrees:

“I don’t think anybody works as hard as Tobias. He’s been unbelievable for us, whether he’s guarding the other team’s best player, or he’s sparking a run on offense, or making 3-point shots.”

Embiid (facial fracture / concussion) remains out for Game 2.

Game 2 tips at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

Miami featured a balanced attack in Game 1, with five players finishing in double-figures, led by Tyler Herro’s 25 points and seven assists off the bench. Herro shot 9-for-17 from the field and 4-for-6 from long range.

Bam Adebayo notched a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double, plus four assists, two steals, and a block, while Jimmy Butler added 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Kyle Lowry (left hamstring strain) is out for Game 2, while Tyler Herro (left ankle sprain), Caleb Martin (left ankle sprain) Max Strus (right hamstring strain), P.J. Tucker (right calf strain), and Gabe Vincent (right knee irritation) are all questionable.

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Related Links:

Sixers Fall to Heat in Game 1

Photo Gallery: Game 1 in Miami

76ers Win Game 6, Advance to Eastern Conference Semifinals

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