Skip to content

Sixers get gritty win vs. Heat, will play Knicks in 1st round

Jesse D. Garrabrant / National Basketball Association / Getty

The Philadelphia 76ers overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to beat the Miami Heat 105-104 in Wednesday's play-in game.

Philadelphia will face the New York Knicks in the opening round of the playoffs. The series is set to kick off on April 20 at 6 p.m. ET.

Miami will play the Chicago Bulls in a do-or-die game for the East's No. 8 seed.

Veteran forward Nicolas Batum knocked down five second-half triples and poured in a season-high 20 points in the victory. The Frenchman also came up with a clutch block on Heat guard Tyler Herro with 26 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Sixers head coach Nick Nurse credited Batum's timely shotmaking as one of the reasons Philadelphia pulled off the win.

"He knew we needed some offense and needed to crack that zone with some perimeter shooting," Nurse said, according to Sam DiGiovanni of Philadelphia SN. "He found some areas to get to, and he just kept pulling the trigger."

Reigning MVP Joel Embiid recorded 23 points and 15 rebounds in his return to the lineup after missing Sunday's regular-season finale against the Brooklyn Nets.

Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey praised Embiid for his hard work recovering from knee surgery in February to repair a torn meniscus, telling NBATV that the 2023 MVP "fought his tail off to get back and come back healthy."

Herro and Jimmy Butler led the way for the Heat with 25 and 19 points, respectively.

Butler appeared to hurt his knee late in the first quarter when he collided with Sixers forward Kelly Oubre Jr.

Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters postgame that Butler's knee "really stiffened up" in the second half. He added the injury limited the six-time All-Star as the game progressed.

Butler said he expects to undergo imaging on his right knee, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox