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Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat
2017/18 NBA Playoffs, Game 5, April 25 - Q2
|Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Miami Heat|
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Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers can confirm their spot in the Eastern Conference semi-finals when they take on the Miami Heat in Game 5 of their first-round matchup at the Wells Fargo Center. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 10am (AEST).
The Sixers come into the fifth game of the series on the brink of advancement, having won three of the first four.
They took Game 1 in reasonably convincing fashion, but the concerns were aired as a Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia outfit were bullied into a loss in Game 2.
It meant they gave up home-court advantage and would need to win on the road, but they wasted absolutely no time doing that, picking up a dominant 20-point victory in Game 3.
Embiid made his return and led all scorers with 23 alongside the Heat’s Goran Dragic, while Ben Simmons has continued to put up numbers matching his incredible rookie regular season.
The Australian came up with a triple-double during Game 4, resulting in a four-point victory for the 76ers, while JJ Redick was also key with 24 points.
If Simmons and Embiid continue to combine as they have in the last two outings though, it’s going to be incredibly difficult for the Heat to fight back and win this game, let alone all of the next three to take the series.
Much of the Heat’s performance will rest on the shoulders of Dwyane Wade and Dragic. Wade led all scorers in the Game 4 loss, trying to rally his team, while Dragic was an All-Star this year and has averaged 21 points per game across the first three in this series.
Yet, the depth of Philly should outweigh whatever the Miami duo can serve up. With Embiid struggling through injury at different points, a couple of days off ahead of the second round could be all too crucial for the Sixers at this point, especially with the Boston-Milwaukee series two-all and looking like it could go the distance.
While there was a blitz during Game 2, the Sixers have hit back strongly in the next two and the chance of them losing this seems to be slim.
They should win and buy themselves a couple of days to relax and recover ahead of the semi-finals.
76ers by 12.
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