Sixers, Mouse head home, trying to bounce back against Heath, Suns
Philadelphia and Dallas are heading home trying to stay in the semi-final series of conferences against the first seed, the 76ers are unclear if Joel Embide can play against Miami, and the Mavericks are waiting for someone to help Luke Doncic against Phoenix.
Coach Doc Rivers did not look optimistic about Embiid’s availability for Game 3 on Friday night in Philadelphia after the Sixers fell behind the Heat 2-0 without an MVP finalist with a break in orbit.
Dallas coach Jason Kidd has repeated after a second defeat by Chris Paul, Devin Booker and the Suns – the 11th straight loss from the Mauritius, including the regular season, from the team with the best NBA result.
The third game of the Western Conference series will take place in Dallas on Friday night.
“He had a great game, but no one else showed it,” Kidd said after losing 129-109 in Game 2, and it sounded about the same as it had two nights before after losing 121-114 in Phoenix. “We can’t win unless he scores 30 points a night.”
James Harden and Tyris Maxie are clearly missing Embiid. Philly’s bodyguards couldn’t find a way to get a split in Miami, the main crop in the East, without a five-time Match of the Stars.
The Sixers were no closer than eight points in the fourth quarter of the first two games, and Maxi sees the first quarter as the key to changing that.
“If we come home with the crowd on our side, we have to hit first,” Maxi said after losing 119-103 in Game 2. “Coach Doc said something in the locker room before the game about what it’s like to be a counterattacking team tonight. ». I think it really hit. We must first follow them and put them on their heels. “
Philadelphia is also struggling with history.
Miami led 2-0 in 18 previous series, including in the first round of this season against Atlanta, and each time won the match. The 76ers have missed the first two games 19 previous times and have not recovered to win the series.
Bam Adebayo led the Heat, scoring 23 points in the second game. Center Miami tops the list of players affected by the possible return of the 7-foot Embiid.
“It’s changing dramatically. You’re talking about MVP talent, ”said Heat coach Eric Spoelstra. “We knew this series was going to change and it was going to change quite drastically. It is better to change this drastically if we can win a couple of victories. “
The Mavericks were close in the fourth quarter of Game 2 before Paul started the series with a score of 23-2 when the Suns led with a score of 6. He scored 14 of 28 points in the fourth. During the race Booker scored 30 points in a row and scored 30.
“We have guys who can definitely guard these guys,” said Dallas guard Reggie Bulak, one of the first defensive players to be tasked with such a task. “But it will take effort to contain them.”
Jalen Branson averaged 27.8 points in his first-round win over Utah when Doncic missed the first three games due to left-calf tension. Branson averages 11 points with 32% of shots against the Suns and has almost as many fouls (eight) as baskets (nine).
Doncic, who scored 45 and 35 points in the first two games, looked tired of the Suns repeatedly attacking him on screens, especially in the fourth quarter when they scored 84%.
“He must be tired,” Kidd said. “He played his soul. He gets tired every night. He plays tough. We need to get other guys to help him. Now it was just him. “
Miami leads 2-0. Game 3, 19:00 ET, ESPN
• Need to know: Miami G. Victor Aladip, who for the first time in his career is playing in the semifinals of the conference, scored 19 in Game 2. It was only his 12th game of the season and he played four games in a row for the first time since joining Heath after suffering tendon problems of the right quadriceps muscle. A double all-star match in Indiana, Oladipo can help offset Embiid’s return with consistent production. He scored 23 in the first round match against Atlanta.
• Monitor:3-point shooting Philadelphia. In the first round due to the arc 76ers were the No. 3 team (40.8%). To date, they are the worst team in the semifinals of the conference, scoring just 21.9% in the first two games of the series.
• Watches with injuries: Heat PG Kyle Lowry, who missed the last four games due to left hamstring tension, has been promoted to questionable for Game 3. A game in Philadelphia has always mattered to Lowry since he traveled to Villanova and is a native of North Philly.
• Pressure on: Philadelphia. Embiid or not Embiid, a 3-0 deficit could be something that makes Philly check and think about summer vacation.
THE SUN IN MAVERIX
Phoenix leads 2-0. Game 3, 21:30 ET, ESPN
• Need to know: In eight playoff games, the Suns scored at least 50%, and in the second game against Dallas – 64.5%. Paul shoots a staggering 67% within the 3-point line. The coup in defense for the Mavericks was one of the biggest stories of Kidd’s first season. They were second only to Boston with the fewest points allowed in the regular season, and held it, beating Jazz in six games. Not much in this series.
• Monitor: Dallas J. Spencer Dinwidi played some of his best games when Doncic was out of the regular season. Its production is far in the postseason. The second game showed signs of life when he scored 10 of 11 points, which helped Dallas come out ahead with a score of 60-58. But in the fourth quarter he received only one blow and missed.
• Watches with injuries: Dallas F Maxi Kleber played 28 minutes and scored nine points in Game 2 after falling heavily on his back, shoulders and neck early in the series. The Mavericks said it went well, but its effectiveness will carry over after it has admitted it hurts.
• Pressure on: Mavericks GF Dorian Feeney-Smith needs to stay out of trouble. He is one of the most important defenders and was limited to 20 minutes after three fouls in the first quarter.