Heat demolish Sixers to take 3-2 series edge

Jimmy Butler and the Heat move within a win of advancing to the Eastern Conference finals

Seven players scored in double figures for the Heat as Miami blasted the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, 120-85, to grab a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night, May 10 (Wednesday, May 11, Manila time).

Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 23 points for the Heat, but unlike losses in Games 3 and 4 when he was their only consistent source of offense, he had plenty of help.

Miami’s Max Strus produced his first double-double of the postseason with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Gabe Vincent added 15 points, while Victor Oladipo came off the bench for 13. Bam Adebayo (12), Tyler Herro (10) and PJ Tucker (10) also hit for double figures.

Butler added 9 rebounds and 6 assists while hitting 9-of-15 field goal attempts. Strus was 7-of-13 from the floor, including 4-of-10 from three-point range.

Joel Embiid scored 17 points to pace Philadelphia, while James Harden added 14 and Tobias Harris netted 12 points. However, the 76ers made just 36.5% of their field goal attempts and were outrebounded 46-36.

The Heat hit 53.6% from the field, including 13-of-33 (39.4%) from beyond the arc. The 76ers wound up 9-of-32 (28.1%) from long distance, with Georges Niang missing all six of his three-point attempts and finishing scoreless in 16 minutes.

Game 6 is Thursday night in Philadelphia, where the 76ers try to stave off elimination. The road team hasn’t won yet in the series.

Miami set an immediate tone, rattling off 12 straight points for a 21-10 lead at the 5:16 mark of the first quarter. Strus drained consecutive three-pointers to cap the run.

The Heat stretched the margin to 18 in the second quarter before settling for a 56-44 halftime lead. Butler had 14 first-half points to lead all scorers.

Miami pushed the advantage to 20 less than four minutes into the third quarter on Vincent’s three-point play.

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