Philadelphia 76ers turn garbage into gold in Game 4 victory

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

After playing from behind for much of the afternoon, the Philadelphia 76ers leave Miami undefeated thanks to a monster fourth quarter.

In an afternoon outing absolutely marred with turnovers, the Philadelphia 76ers proved once and for all why they’re the most exciting team in the NBA in a 106-102 victory over the Miami Heat.

But after trailing for much of the game, it was far from an easy victory.

Lead by point guard Ben Simmons, who’s 17 points, 10 assists and 13 rebounds made him the first rookie to record a postseason triple-double since Magic Johnson accomplished the feat in 1980, the Sixers played the Heat even for the firth quarter before a 30-35 second quarter left the team playing catch-up going into halftime.

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And boy was it a physical contest.

For those who haven’t been watching, it’s pretty clear that there is no love lost between the Sixers and the Heat, as highlighted by the mini-brawl that almost erupted going into halftime, but after being bullied on their home court in Game 2, Brett Brown‘s squad made it abundantly clear that they are done being pushed around by a lesser team.

Playoff basketball is a wonderful thing.

Tough the team struggled to hit shots from behind the arc, completing only seven of their 31 three-point attempts, the Sixers once again made a living at the free throw line, completing almost 80 percent of their shots from the charity stripe for 26 points.

While this efficiency was helpful, the 76ers really turned things around going into the fourth quarter and never looked back.

After turning the ball over 23 times in the first three-quarters of the game, Brett Brown‘s squad locked it down in the fourth, giving the ball up just three times in route to a 27-19 stretch to close out the game.

And the best part? The team pulled out a big W without a monster performance by Joel Embiid.

Sure, the big guy still got his, recording a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes, but it’s abundantly clear that his safety goggles have essentially handicapped his offensive game so far this series, so much so that at one point he even “forgot” them on the bench late in the fourth quarter.

But for all of Embiid’s struggles on the offensive end of the court, he still locked things down in the paint like no other.

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With the Heat attempting to stage one final comeback in what may be Dwyane Wade‘s final game at American Airlines Arena, Embiid lit up point guard Goran Dragic with an absolute monster block, his fifth, that effectively silence the crowd and any hope of tieing up the game.

Speaking of Wade, after a largely unremarkable Game 3 thanks to an ace defensive outing by Justin Anderson, the 36-year-old future Hall-of-Famer once again turned in vintage performance with 25 points off the bench, but when his team needed him most, down by three with only seconds to go, he bricked his sixth free throw attempt of the night, and allowed J.J. Redick to ice out the game with a pair of gems from the charity stripe.

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Though it wasn’t always pretty, the Philadelphia 76ers are now sitting pretty at 3-1, and are firmly in the driver’s seat with the series set to return to the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night for Game 5. Something tells me you’ll want to tune into that one.