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Heat offense extinguished in 76ers’ Game 3 win

Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid in Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Three

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 06: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against Joel Embiid #21, Danny Green #14, and Matisse Thybulle #22 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the second half during Game Three of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center on May 6, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Heat 99-79. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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76ers star Joel Embiid clutched his head while falling to the floor. He stayed down a bit, his mask flipped up and hands covering his already-injured face. As he finally got up, he winced in pain.

Embiid had just gotten hit in the head by Bam Adebayo as the Heat big chased an offensive rebound.

Miami’s offense was painful in Philadelphia’s 99-79 Game 3 victory Friday. Though the 76ers defended well, the Heat were even more responsible for the dud and their advantage in the second-round series slipping to 2-1.

After shooting 2-for-19 on 3-pointers in Miami, including 1-for-9 in Game 3… Danny Green scored 21 points on 7-of-9 3-point shooting as the series shifted to Philadelphia tonight. Tyrese Maxey went scoreless in the first half tonight… then scored 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-5 on 3-pointers, in the second half.

So, offensive turnarounds are possible. But Miami needs a major swing to win Game 4 Sunday.

The Heat’s halfcourt sets weren’t producing much. Compounding problems, Miami players realized that and, rather than work to come up empty anyway, jacked some quick bad shots – that had even lower efficiency. The Heat would’ve scored even less if not for generating 11 steals and creating transition opportunities.

Jimmy Butler (33 points) got productively more aggressive in the second half, as Miami erased a 14-point deficit in the third quarter. But the 76ers pulled right back ahead, the Heat scoring just 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Embiid (18 points, 11 rebounds, four turnovers and four fouls) played pretty well in his return from injury. Nowhere near his MVP-finalist standards. But a significant upgrade on DeAndre Jordan.

James Harden (17 points on 4-of-11 shooting, including 1-of-7 on 3-pointers, with eight rebounds, six assists, seven turnovers and poor defense) was also uneven with less of an excuse.

Yet, with the Heat’s offense so ineffective, that was more than enough to cruise to victory.