PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — That wasn’t an aberration the other night at the Wells Fargo Center. That was vintage Dwyane Wade that tore up the Sixers for 28 points in 26 minutes, while making every big play that had to be made down the stretch in Miami’s 113-103 victory in Game 2 that tied the best-of-seven series at 1-1.
Can the 36-year-old Wade do it again in Game 3, which will be Thursday night in Miami at 7 p.m.?
Five years maybe. Ten years ago, definitely. Twice in a two-day span, probably not, unless he has a time machine.
What happened Monday night was the best thing that could have occurred to a young team that’s dabbing its big toe into the playoff pool for the first time. A little knock back—and a big injection of Joel Embiid, who has been cleared the concussion protocol, though the Sixers have not said whether or not Embiid will suit, could be enough to restart the Sixers on another winning streak towards taking this series in five games.
With Embiid, the Sixers shouldn’t have any problems beating the Heat, even in Embiid’s reduced condition. Without Embiid, it will be more difficult.
But the Heat won’t duplicate what they did Monday night. They can’t. James Johnson was 7-for-7 from the field for 18 points. He averaged 10 points a game during the regular season and 13 over the last 10 games. He was a 50 percent shooter during the regular season. In two playoff games, he’s shooting 75 percent.
The Sixers were 7-for-36 from three-point range (19.4%) in Game 2. That won’t happen again, either. The truer version of the Miami Heat was the team that was steamrolled the second half of Game 1 against the Sixers.
Expect the true identity of the teams to reveal themselves in Game 3—possibly with the help of a masked man.