The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA–Dwyane Wade snuffed out one 76ers’ rally by popping a 16-foot fadeaway with the shot clock ticking down.
Wade made a half-hearted attempt at reaching his hand out toward a fallen defender before he scooted on his way.
Wade was up, the Sixers were down, and suddenly a series.
The Heat had to have this one–a brooding Joel Embiid is angling for a comeback.
Wade turned in a vintage performance, scoring 28 points to end the 76ers’ 17-game winning streak and lead the Miami Heat to a 113-103 Game 2 win over Philadelphia last night and even their first-round playoff series.
“It’s just in my DNA,” Wade said. “I love the stage.”
The 36-year-old flashed the form of a three-time NBA champion with the Heat, not the journeyman who bounced around the last two seasons with forgettable stints in Chicago and Cleveland.
Wade made 11-of-17 shots, putting on a show in the second quarter and then putting it away in the fourth.
“I saw moments,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s what defines Dwyane Wade.”
The 76ers soon could get their defining Process moment from Embiid.
The Sixers sorely needed Embiid, their all-star centre out with a broken orbital bone, to settle them as they fell in a quick 16-point hole.
The Sixers lost for the first time since March 13 to Indiana. They won 16-straight to end the regular season and then the first game of the playoffs–despite playing their 10th-straight game without Embiid.
“Joel is a superstar. Of course we’re missing him offensively, defensively,” said Sixers’ forward Dario Saric.
“He’s a guy who wants to play all the time.
“I can’t wait for Joel to come back and help us because we’re a better team with him,” Saric added.
Even without Embiid, the Sixers trimmed the lead to two points late in the fourth quarter.
Philly fans were going wild and suddenly the home-court edge that had made the Sixers unbeatable for a month seemed like it would perk the team back up for one more notch on the winning streak.
Not so fast.
Ersan Ilyasova made a tip shot to close to 98-96 but Wade answered and stripped Saric and finished on the other end with a basket that steadied the Heat.
The series shifts to Miami for Game 3 on Thursday.
Elsewhere in the NBA, Golden State dumped San Antonio 113-92 to lead that series 2-0.