76ers

Wizards play the role of thief in Boston thriller

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Wizards play the role of thief in Boston thriller

BOSTON -- Bradley Beal scored 34 points, including a three-point play with 1:25 left in the second overtime, and the Washington Wizards beat the short-handed Boston Celtics 125-124 on Wednesday night.

Jayson Tatum missed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer that could have won it for the Celtics, who were without six players and missed several opportunities to put away the Wizards.

Otto Porter Jr. finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Markieff Morris scored 20 points, Ian Mahinmi added 14 and Tomas Satoransky had 10 points for Washington, which played the night before but still had enough energy at the end to rally past the weary Celtics, who blew a 20-point lead.

Boston patched together a lineup without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving (knee) and center Al Horford (illness), two of the four regulars who were sidelined.

Marcus Morris led Boston with 31 points and pulled down 19 rebounds, but made a costly defensive error in the closing seconds of regulation. Terry Rozier added 21 points and nine assists, and Tatum scored 19 points for the Celtics (see full recap).

Simmons, Augustin power Magic to upset
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Jonathon Simmons scored a career-high 35 points, D.J. Augustin added 32 and the Orlando Magic bounced back from an embarrassing defeat to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 126-117 on Wednesday night.

Simmons was 7 of 12 from 3-point range and Augustin hit 6 of 9, three of them in the fourth quarter to help Orlando pull away.

Nikola Vucevic had 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Magic, who were routed 108-72 Tuesday night in San Antonio, their fifth straight loss.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 38 points for Milwaukee, which has lost seven of 10.

Augustin and Simmons combined for 20 points as the Magic closed out the first quarter on a 27-7 run to take a 16-point lead.

Milwaukee (36-32) erased most of it by scoring the first 10 points of the second quarter, but did not regain the lead until Eric Bledsoe converted a turnover into a layup with 4:50 left in the third quarter.

Orlando (21-48) scored the final 14 points of that period to take 91-80 lead into the fourth.

The Bucks never got within five in the fourth quarter (see full recap).

Kings recover after blowing late lead 
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- De'Aaron Fox made a layup at the buzzer to force overtime, Zach Randolph scored the first three points of the extra period and finished with 22, and the Sacramento Kings recovered after blowing a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the Miami Heat 123-119 on Wednesday night.

Randolph added a key block on Justise Winslow with 1:19 remaining in OT as Sacramento swept Miami for the first time since 2001-02.

That overshadowed an impressive night by Miami's Goran Dragic, who scored 11 straight points in the fourth quarter to fuel the Heat's comeback and matched his season high of 33 points. But Dragic missed a tying turnaround jumper with 20 seconds left in overtime, then stepped out of bounds with the ball with 12.3 remaining.

Randolph had the first three points in overtime with a free throw and 17-foot jumper. Fox made a short runner, Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a 28-foot 3-pointer and Buddy Hield added four free throws.

Hield finished with 24 points, Fox had 20 and Bogdanovic added 14 for Sacramento.

The Heat, who began the day in eighth place in the East, lost their second straight.

Wayne Ellington had 22 points with six 3-pointers, James Johnson added 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Winslow scored 13 points for Miami (see full recap).

Sixers' turnover-filled nightmare comes with silver lining

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Sixers' turnover-filled nightmare comes with silver lining

Brett Brown sat at the podium with a puzzled look on his face as he stared at the box score.

Sure, he’d likely already been told that the Sixers had a season-high 27 turnovers in their 106-102 Game 4 win over the Miami Heat. But it’s one thing to hear it from someone else and another to see it written down in black and white.

“The fact that you can actually win a playoff game with this volume of turnovers is mind-boggling,” Brown said.

The Sixers’ level of carelessness on Saturday was equally astonishing.

For three quarters, the Sixers resembled the regular-season version of the team we have become accustomed to seeing over the years under Brown. They had the ball stolen on dribble moves and their passes intercepted. They had passes sail out of bounds and committed offensive fouls.

Simply put, the Sixers were tripping over themselves to give the ball back to the Heat.

“The first three periods, I was shocked to look up at the scoreboard and not feel like you’re just down 15, 14, 18 given the way the game went,” Brown said.

“I’m shocked that we won this game. We really didn’t have a right to win this game. I thought that, defensively, in the first three periods, we were a C-minus. I thought that our turnovers were an F.”

While a lot of that had to do with the Sixers’ own sloppiness, the Heat’s level of desperation was certainly a factor.

“Coming into this game this afternoon, you know you’re going to get the Miami Heat’s best,” Brown said. “It’s a culture of winning. They’ve won championships. Spo’s (Erik Spoelstra) a hell of a coach. You knew they were going to be all wound up. Like I said before, you didn’t have to be a mystic to guess what this was going to look like. 

“And they jumped us and we didn’t handle it well. We had multiple turnovers. I thought in Game 3 we responded to the physicality with only 12 and we did some things fundamentally more correct. There were several times in tonight’s game that they got the better of us and this environment got the better of us a little bit.”

Not when it mattered most.

The Sixers committed just three of those 27 turnovers in the fourth quarter as they dominated another final period to finish off the comeback.

And while the Sixers know they will never reach their playoff goals if they continue giving the ball away at such a rapid rate, they were pleased the team could stop the bleeding in crunch time with the game on the line.

“I think we did a great job of coming back, staying poised and playing as a team,” Ben Simmons said. “Going through our structured plays, whatever it is, defensively and offensively.” 

“I feel that we have been trending in a way that the fourth-period execution, the fourth-period mentality — defensively driven — has been our identity,” Brown said. “Then you go to the other side and say, well, we did a pretty good job of not turning the ball over. Three turnovers, by our standards, is an A-plus.”

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Sixers are 'special'

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Sixers are 'special'

MIAMI — For the 13 first rounds Dwyane Wade has played in, the current Sixers-Heat matchup has made a strong impression.

“They’re good,” Wade said. “They’re special. They’re a good group. They put the right team together.”

Sitting at the podium, Wade spent a good amount of time during his press conference praising the team that has put the Heat on the brink of elimination. He’s been on the winning side often, including three championships, so he recognizes a unique team when he sees it. 

“This definitely is one of the best first-round series I’ve ever played in, first-round opponent,” Wade said.

The Sixers have gone up 3-1 on the Heat with a roster that is balanced both positionally and in experience. Seven players finished in double digits Saturday and only veteran JJ Redick had more than 20 points. Ben Simmons, with whom Wade already has a relationship (see story), recorded his first career playoff triple-double (17 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists). He became the youngest player to do so since Wade’s former teammate LeBron James back in 2006. 

"I give a lot of credit to their point guard, their leader, Ben,” Wade said. “He does a great job of getting them settled, getting the ball to his guys, and keep feeding confidence to them.”

Wade described the Sixers as having “an edge.” They will use it to test the Heat Tuesday when the series returns to Philadelphia. Wade encourages his teammates to play with maturity and withstand the Sixers’ runs. The Heat split the first two games at the Wells Fargo Center. 

“They’re going to play with pace, play with speed, play physical,” Wade said. “Obviously they’re going to play with their crowd. It’s going to be a high energy type of game from them … All we’ve got to do is just worry about this one game and giving everything we have for that game. You walk out of that game, you gave everything you had, you can live with whatever result is there at the end.”

Wade, 36, has had vintage moments against the Sixers in this series. He led all players with 28 points off the bench in the Heat’s Game 2 win. On Sunday, he scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter alone. 

Asked about the possibility of this game against the Sixers being his last game in Miami playing for the Heat, Wade said, “I won’t answer that right now. I’ve got another game to play. I’m focused on the next game and trying to win that one.”

What he will answer is questions about his competition. 

"They’re a very good team," Wade said. "I can’t say nothing negative about them at all. So far they’ve been great opponents.”