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Mar 18, 2024 1:19 am

Short-handed and tied in the East, Heat, Sixers try to move up

tyrese maxey

The Philadelphia 76ers will look for their second victory in a row Monday when they host the Miami Heat.

The Sixers (37-30) struggled for a bit Saturday but pulled away for a 109-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Tyrese Maxey scored 30 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 22 and Buddy Hield had 14 for the Sixers, who played without Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, De’Anthony Melton and Robert Covington.

Embiid, the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player, was back at practice Sunday, but there’s still no timetable for his return.

Harris missed Sunday’s practice with a sprained right ankle and he remains questionable for Monday’s game.

Maxey shook off an elbow to the nose from Brandon Miller, who was ejected for a flagrant 2 infraction.

Maxey also shook off a number of double teams.

“They sent a lot, they doubled him a lot,” Sixers coach Nick Nurse said. “Even when we did clear out, they were doubling him in isolations, too, so they were making him give it up a lot, so it was pretty good.

“Really happy he got to the line. I complained enough about it before the game, have to at least mention it. It was good tonight.”

Closing games has been an ongoing issue without Embiid, who was sidelined after knee surgery.

Not against the Hornets.

“Just closing, finally we were able to close,” Hield said. “Making the right play, feeling unselfish, making the right read, being aggressive, and at the end of the day trying to get that W.”

The Heat will arrive in Philadelphia after two straight victories over the Detroit Pistons.

Miami (37-30) defeated the Pistons 108-95 on Friday and 104-101 on Sunday.

In Sunday’s win, Bam Adebayo hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the two-game sweep.

Duncan Robinson led the way with a season-best 30 points while Adebayo added 20 points and 17 rebounds. Terry Rozier scored 17 points, Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 15 and Caleb Martin had 10.

“Sometimes there’s karma in this game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Bam was just outstanding for us, especially defensively, with all the things he was doing and everything he got on the glass. Sometimes the ball just happens to find that guy.”

Spoelstra tweaked his lineup again without Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Nikola Jovic and Kevin Love. Herro has been out since Feb. 26 with injuries to his knee and feet.

Spoelstra is cautiously optimistic about Herro’s return before the end of the regular season. They’ll need him if they have aspirations of another deep playoff run.

“That’s the hope,” Spoelstra said. “He’s been making progress and we’ll treat him day-to-day, keep on making progress. And again, his body will let us know.”

It was a franchise-record 32nd different starting lineup he has utilized this season.

“I’m very thankful for Bam,” Robinson told Bally Sports. “I turned the ball over in the end, which I would have been kicking myself for. We showed resolve at the end. Thank goodness for Bam.”

Robinson hit 7-of-12 shots from 3-point range and reached 1,000 made 3s faster than anyone in league history.

The Heat pulled into a tie with the Sixers with an identical record, setting up a huge matchup on Monday.

“We’re going to get some rest, ice, sleep and do it again tomorrow,” Robinson said.

-Field Level Media

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