By: Taroy Jackson
It was a white-hot atmosphere for the Heat vs Sixers Game 4, on Saturday April 21, 2018. Both teams really put on a show, for the fans at home and in attendance. The Sixers took all that the Heat could dish out including some hard fouls, pushing, and shoving. However, despite all that the Sixers held on and beat the Heat 106-102.
From the opening tip the Heat came out ready to play, while the Philadelphia 76ers were very sluggish. The Sixers committed 27 Turnovers, the most turnovers in playoff history. They overcame the turnover margin by not committing any turnovers in the fourth quarter. Limiting their turnovers gave the Sixers enough opportunities to come back and win the game.
The crowd was engaged early on and some fans were heckling me after every Goran Dragic and Dwayne Wade score. As the lead grew for the Heat the crowd got louder with the occasional chants of “Ref You Suck” to “MVP” when Dwayne Wade went to the line.
The atmosphere changed though in the final two minutes of the third quarter. When Sixers Center, Ersan Ilyasova with hit a timely three-point shot to end the quarter. Ben Simmons then hit two quick layups from fast break opportunities, and the Sixers took the fans out of the game.
The Miami Heat had a great game plan, they took away Joel Embiid and made him take difficult shots all night long. Embiid did not have a big offensive game. However, he did hit some big free throws down the stretch to expand the lead. J.J. Redick and Ben Simmons sealed the game for the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Sixers almost squandered a six-point lead with about 2 minutes to go, but Joel Embiid made his presence known on the defensive end with blocks on Dragic and Wade down the stretch.
The Heat could not hold on to their big lead because of missed free throws. The Heat only shot 50% from the free throw line, and that was the difference.
The 76ers had no business winning that game, but they stayed the course and weathered some early runs by the Heat. Earlier in the season the 76ers probably would have loss this game by a big margin. However, this team has matured and are now one win away from closing the Heat out and moving on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs.