Heat Roll To 2-0 Lead Over 76ers, 94-73
MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James outscored Philadelphia’s entire starting five in the first half by himself.
So did Chris Bosh.
So did Dwyane Wade.
And that pretty much tells the tale of a night the 76ers would rather forget.
No comeback required for the Miami Heat this time – they went wire-to-wire on the lead, and moved two wins from advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
James scored 29 points, Bosh had his second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 94-73 victory over the abysmally shooting 76ers on Monday night.
Showing no signs of the migraine that he battled Sunday, Wade scored 14 points for Miami, now 17-3 in its last 20 games and halfway to winning its first playoff series since the 2006 conference finals.
Thaddeus Young scored 18 points and Evan Turner added 15 for the 76ers, whose starters were outscored 76-29 by the Heat’s first-string. Philadelphia shot 34 percent for the game, and after getting 42 points in the paint in Game 1, were held to 24 in that department Monday.
The 76ers find themselves needing to buck some serious history. Miami has never lost a series after winning the first two games (6-0), and the Philadelphia franchise is winless in 16 tries after falling into an 0-2 postseason hole. And then there’s this – only 14 teams have won after losing the first two games of a best-of-seven NBA series.
Wade played 34 minutes, despite spending Sunday and part of Monday fighting off a migraine that he likened to a “nightmare.” He had no outward ill effects, shooting 4 for 11 with six rebounds.
Instead, it’s the 76ers who spent much of Monday looking pained.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia shot only 26 percent in the first half, a record for a Heat playoff opponent. The 76ers’ starters were outscored 41-9 in the opening 24 minutes, and unlike their last two meetings, never put a scare into Miami. Philadelphia had a 16-point lead in the teams’ final regular-season matchup, a 14-point lead in Game 1, but simply couldn’t get rolling Monday.
The 76ers didn’t even have a starter reach double figures until 3:49 remained in the third quarter, when Jrue Holiday made a 3-pointer to get to 10 points. By then, James had 23, Bosh had 15 and Wade 12 – and the Heat led 68-50.
The margin kept growing from there, all the way to 28 at one point. A clearly frustrated Philadelphia coach Doug Collins got a technical with 1:56 left and the game decided, the Heat holding a 91-67 lead.
Holiday finished with 12 points while Andre Iguodala was held to five, giving him nine in the series on 4-for-15 shooting.
It was over fairly early. James said he wanted to be more aggressive in Game 2 than he was in the series opener, and apparently that message got to all corners of the Heat locker room.
Philadelphia was within 28-20 midway through the second quarter, but a 21-11 Heat run to end the half took care of that. James had consecutive baskets, the second of them a highlight-quality one-handed dunk off a high alley-oop lob from Mario Chalmers for a 37-23 lead, and Miami was off and running.
The lead was 49-31 by halftime and 75-52 after the third quarter, in which Philadelphia shot only 33 percent but raised its percentage for the game to 28.
NOTES: James has won 13 straight times when facing Philadelphia, the last loss coming Dec. 15, 2007, when he was with Cleveland. … Wade sent out a Tweet in the afternoon, thanking fans for the support as he dealt with the migraines. … The 76ers are 0-5 against the Heat this season.
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