Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers: Lineups, preview & prediction 4/24/18

The Philadelphia 76ers have looked like everything but playoff newcomers as they bid to close out the Miami Heat in Game 5 of this first-round series Tuesday night.

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The 76ers (52-30) moved within one victory of their first playoff series win since 2012 after holding off the Heat 106-102 in Game 4 in Miami on Saturday, sweeping the two games in South Beach. J. J. Redick did not end his perimeter shooting funk but had 24 points, including a key bucket and a pair of free throws in the final minute, and Ben Simmons became the first rookie since Magic Johnson in 1980 to record a triple-double in the postseason after adding 17 points, 13 rebounds and ten assists.

Philadelphia, who have 19 victories in their last 20 games overall, also won despite tying a postseason franchise record with 27 turnovers that led to 30 points for Miami. Simmons had seven of them and Joel Embiid had a team-leading eight, but the 76ers negated nearly all of those points by scoring 23 themselves off 19 Heat turnovers, outscoring them 27-13 at the foul line and amassing a 57-43 edge on the glass.

Only 11 teams in NBA history have rallied from a 3-1 series deficit, but Miami (44-38) are one of those teams, doing so against the New York Knicks in the 1997 Eastern Conference semifinals. But if that is to happen, the Heat need to overcome the breakdowns that plagued them on both ends of the court in the fourth quarter of both losses. 

Miami were outscored 59-33 in the final periods of Games 3 and 4, scoring just one point in the first 3:18 in Game 3 and being held scoreless over the opening 3:47 on Saturday. Dwyane Wade scored ten of his 25 points in the final 3:47 as he tried to steal a second game in this series for the Heat, but even with center Hassan Whiteside making his first meaningful contribution in this series with 13 points and 13 rebounds, it was not enough.

Should the Heat stave off elimination, the series will return to Miami for Game 6 on Thursday night.

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