[April 17, 2014]MIAMI — With the Miami Heat locked
into the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Philadelphia
76ers' lottery position already sealed, their meeting on the final night
of the regular season did not carry as much significance as other games
around the NBA.
Nonetheless, they played the game, and with two-thirds of the
Heat's Big 3 sitting out, the 76ers beat the Heat 100-87 on
Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Miami finished the regular season with a three-game losing streak,
but the Heat's greater concern is the postseason, where they will
face the No. 7 Charlotte Bobcats in a first-round series that begins
at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Miami.
"There's an edge that you walk into the gym with [in the playoffs],"
said forward Shane Battier, who scored nine points on three
3-pointer. "I'm not going to say you walk different or the air
smells different, but there's a feeling. You know, this is what
we're here for."
The Heat would then play the winner of the Nos. 3-6 matchup between
the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets. Miami went 0-4 during the
regular season against Brooklyn.
The Sixers' next date of significance is May 20, which is when the
ping-pong balls will dictate where the team picks in a pivotal draft
for the franchise. They own two lottery picks - their own and that
of the New Orleans Pelicans.
"That night when you find out where you pick is a nerve-wracking
night for me," 76ers coach Brett Brown said. "We'll continue moving
forward no matter what happens. I'd be lying if I said it any other
The Sixers, while wrapping up a rough 19-63 season that saw them
flirt with the longest losing streak in NBA history, feel optimistic
about the future.
"I thought we had a good season," said guard Michael
Carter-Williams, a candidate for Rookie of the Year who scored 12
points. "Our record doesn't show that we had a good season, but I
think we stayed together, came up with wins and just kept playing
with each other and really stuck with each other.
"I think we do have a bright future. We have a few pieces and we're
going to get more.
Philadelphia pulled away in the third quarter. With the score tied
earlier in the quarter, the Sixers ended up leading by 18 after the
quarter thanks to a 19-4 run.
Forward Thaddeus Young led the 76ers with 20 points and nine
Six Sixers scored in double figures Wednesday.
Wednesday's loss marked second time this season the two-time
defending champion Heat fell to the lowly Sixers. They also lost in
Philadelphia on Oct. 30 in the second game of the regular season.
Miami finished the regular season with a 29-14 record against
opponents below .500 but with just 13 losses against winning teams.
Philadelphia led Miami 55-51 at halftime with both Young and guard
James Anderson already in double figures with 10 points apiece.
Guard Dwyane Wade played 16 of his 23 minutes in the first half,
scoring 14 of his 16 points to lead Miami. He did not play in the
On the "maintenance program" that Spoelstra has devised for Wade all
season to keep his knee fresh for the playoffs, Wade saw significant
action early in an effort to get his legs back under him and get him
into a rhythm before postseason play, like he did the previous two
"This was a good three games for me. It was better than going into
the playoffs without playing," Wade said. "[My health] is better
than it was going into last postseason."
Miami guards Toney Douglas and Ray Allen added 13 and 11 points,
respectively. Forwards LeBron James and Chris Bosh sat out.
The 76ers finished the first quarter on a 10-0 run to turn an
eight-point deficit into a two-point lead. Philadelphia led by as
many as nine points in the first half.
NOTES: C Greg Oden returned to the Heat after not being with the
team on Monday night against the Washington Wizards because of a
stomach virus and back spasms. He was active on Wednesday and played
for the first time since a March 26 meeting with the Indiana Pacers.
... With the playoffs on the horizon, F LeBron James, F/C Chris
Bosh, C Chris Andersen and G Mario Chalmers were all inactive
(rest). ... G Michael Carter-Williams finishes the season as the
leader among rookies in points, rebounds and assists per game. He is
only the third rookie in NBA history to do so. ... The 76ers finish
with the second-worst record in the NBA. They will have a 19.9
percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick and will have a
first-round selection no lower than fifth.