Sixers' rally falls short in Game 2 as Heat snap 17-game win streak

Sixers' rally falls short in Game 2 as Heat snap 17-game win streak


It’s a series.

The Heat beat the Sixers, 113-103, to even it up in Game 2 Monday. They snapped the Sixers’ 17-game win streak and handed them their first loss at the Wells Fargo Center since March 13.

The Sixers climbed within two points in the fourth, but their 16-point deficit was too much to overcome. They will play Game 3 in Miami Thursday night (7 p.m./NBCSP). 

• The three-point shooting that propelled the Sixers in Game 1 fell flat. After going 18 for 28 on Saturday, they shot just 7 for 36. Marco Belinelli (2 of 8), Robert Covington (1 of 9), JJ Redick (1 of 7) and Dario Saric (3 of 10) all struggled from long range. 

• The Sixers started Ersan Ilyasova (14 points, 11 boards) at center to create the same matchup problems that helped them come back in the third quarter of Game 1. Unlike Saturday when the Heat played Hassan Whiteside (four points, five rebounds) for only four minutes in the entire second half, the center played over eight minutes in the first quarter alone. The Heat had two days to plan for adjustments in case the Sixers went with that lineup. 

• The second quarter was rough for the Sixers. They scored 13 points in the entire quarter. Only Ben Simmons, Redick and Saric netted baskets. Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade scored 15 points in that period himself (see more below). The Sixers made just four buckets, shot 19 percent from the field and 1 for 10 from three. The Heat out-rebounded the Sixers, 18-7, to take away second-chance point opportunities. 

• Wade always is capable of a vintage Wade game. It was unlikely the championship winner would have another quiet night. Wade scored a game-high 28 points (11 for 17 from the field) (see story). He's had a knack for turning it on against the Sixers. He previously dropped 15 in the fourth quarter in February. Starters Goran Dragic and James Johnson scored 20 points and 18 points, respectively.

• Saric amped up his game in the fourth. He scored 10 of his 23 points in the quarter to spark a Sixers’ comeback attempt. Simmons led the Sixers with 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. 

• Markelle Fultz played less than five minutes. He went scoreless (0 for 3 from the field) and without a rebound or assist. When Simmons picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter, T.J. McConnell subbed in and Fultz did not play in the second half. McConnell drew a foul on a put-back attempt with 0.4 seconds left in the third quarter and the crowd chanted “T-J” when he went to the line. 

• Keep an eye on Justise Winslow and Simmons in this series. Things got chippy between them in the first half. Any matchup against the Heat is going to be physical. 

• The Sixers held a moment of silence in remembrance of Hall of Famer Hal Greer, who died Saturday. 

Marc Jackson tearfully remembers his friend Kobe Bryant

Marc Jackson tearfully remembers his friend Kobe Bryant

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Marc Jackson knew Kobe Bryant during his early days in Philadelphia, when the two were working toward their grand NBA dreams.

On Sunday evening, after the sudden, tragic death of Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash (see story), Jackson discussed how he learned of Bryant's passing, and recounted some of his fondest memories from his time training with Bryant when they were kids.

"It's just a shame. It's a bad day. It's a very horrible day, not just in sports but in life," Jackson said. "Because this guy — this guy, from the very first moment I met him. He's a day off the plane from Italy, and we're working out with John Arnett, he was 12 at the time. I was 15, 16. We're working out at Temple, he's this 12-year-old lanky kid. We finished working out, it must've been about two, three hours, and afterwards he got ice on his knees. I said, 'What are you doing, getting ice on your knees?' He's like, 'I'm trying to have a long career.' He was 12 and I was 15, and I remember looking at him and laughing, like, 'That's interesting.' 

"And I'll never forget the time when he was getting ready to make a decision about whether he was going to college or the NBA. We were working out of Temple. He had this thing called 'Crown,' where he was trying to dunk on you, and he'd say he was going to 'Crown' you. That stuff just started going through my head.

"Now I'm just thinking about his wife and his children, and I'm thinking about his mother Pam, and I'm thinking about Coach Joe, who was one of my first coaches when I first started playing the game. I'm looking at that and thinking about that, and then I just have 1,100 emails, texts, and phone calls, in a matter of hours. It's just to say, he's a very important person."

You can listen to Jackson talk more about Bryant in the video above.

Remembering Kobe Bryant's final game in Philadelphia

Remembering Kobe Bryant's final game in Philadelphia

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine who died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California (see story).

For Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star, his final game in Philadelphia was a meaningful moment in his basketball career. He was born in the city and went to Lower Merion High School in Ardmore.

“I wasn’t expecting that type of reaction, the ovation,” he said after the Lakers’ game against the Sixers on Dec. 1, 2015. “It was emotional. I’m deeply appreciative beyond belief. It was really, really special.”

You can watch the video above for a look back at Bryant’s last game in Philadelphia.