The Miami Heat are moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals after beating the Sixers 99-90 in six games. The Heat will play the winner of the Bucks-Celtics series with the defending champion Bucks leading the series 3-2.
Following a 35-point beat down in Game 5, the Heat came out strong to close out the series. This is the second time in three years that the Heat have made it to the East Finals with Jimmy Butler as the leader. Head Coach Erik Spoelstra had high praise for Butler.
“He was brilliant all series long. The challenges only got tougher here. He saw there was an opportunity to end this tonight and he wasn’t going to let this get to seven.” Coach Spoelstra said.
Butler was the best player on the floor throughout the entire series. In Game 3 he had 33 points and in Game 4 he scored 40 and he took over in Game 6 taking 29 shots. The third quarter is where he did most of his damage in Game 6. He shot 6-9 scoring 16 points, during this time the Heat went on a 16-2 run.
On the other side the Sixers best player Joel Embiid did everything in his power to keep the team going. This year’s NBA scoring champ had 20 points on 7-24 from the field and 12 rebounds.
“I know I tried. I think for the most part we tried. It wasn’t good enough” Embiid said.
Embiid is a warrior to say the least he was battling through a bad thumb injury and he was battling through a right orbital fracture. One of the problems on this team was James Harden.
Harden was supposed to be the one to carry the load while Embiid was out and help take pressure off Embiid when they played together. He had another display of disappearing in the playoffs when his team needed him the most. He scored all of his 11 points in the first half but had four turnovers.
The Sixers will have to do a lot of work to get to where they want to go. They have not passed the second round of the playoffs since 2001 when Allen Iverson took them to the Finals.
Mavs Force Game 7
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks fight off elimination to push the series to a Game 7. Doncic had another great game scoring 33 points and flirting with a triple double as the Mavs route the Suns 113-86.
So far in this series the home team has won all six games and most of them were blowouts. This is Doncic’s first time winning an elimination game and the first time the franchise has made it pass the first round since 2011 when they won the championship. A win and a trip to the West Finals would be huge for this franchise.
In this game Doncic got help from his teammates. Reggie Bullock scored 19 points and was 5-11 from downtown after going scoreless in Game 5. Jalen Brunson had 18 points and Spencer Dinwiddie finally came alive and had 15 points all of them from three point range. If the Mavs can do this in Game 7 they might have a chance to face either the Warriors or Grizzles in the West Finals.
The Suns are looking to go back to the West Finals for the second consecutive year. Game 6 was not a game to remember. Both stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker did not have strong outings. Booker had 19 points but had no threes, Paul had 13 points with five turnovers and five fouls.
For the second time in this series the Suns were held to a season low in scoring in the regular season and playoffs. They shot 40% which was a playoff low and had 22 turnovers the most this season. Uncharacteristic for a team with this generations purest point guard.
Game 7 should be a good one as long as it is close. Like I said in the beginning the home team has won all the games so far. Phoenix will have to ride the energy of the crowd and get help from other players and not turn the ball over. For the Mavs they need their others to step up as well. They are great shooting at home but poor on the road. If they could get hot or have great defensive stands they could pull off the upset.