Dwyane Wade came off the bench for the Heat, but dominated up and down the court, leading Miami to a113-103 win over Philadelphia.
“It would be insane not to expect them to do the same things (as in Game 1)”, Spoelstra said.
Wade buried two big buckets down the stretch that pushed back the Sixers and tied the series as it shifts to Miami for Game 3 on Thursday (Friday NZT).
“I just came in with an aggressive approach”, Wade said afterwards. Well, we’re family. We’re brothers.
When he is not able to do that he gets frustrated.
“And that’s what we did”. For team leaders like Ben Simmons and veteran J.J. Redick, the loss could set an even bigger spark.
Not bad for a 36-year-old relic, eh?
“It’s not easy”, Spoelstra said. It’s like that country song. “But I’m as good once, as I ever was”.
And the Spurs showed higher intensity on both ends through the first half, working to keep the ball out of Durant’s hands or contest shots while jumping in passing lanes to force mistakes.
Thompson managed just three shots in the first quarter and began 1 for 5.
Marco Belinelli couldn’t guard Wade. Wade still has something left in the tank, but as he told ESPN, sometimes it’s best not to leave the game on empty.
Wade was better than good.
Wade’s play resembled his glory days at times and he carried the Heat in a sensational second quarter that was the difference. They needed a familiar face to turn back the clock and make big-time plays in a big-time game.
If the Brits had their Winter of Discontent in 1978, Simmons found his Winslow of discontent on Monday night.
It’s time for Joel Embiid to return. The Sixers never got closer. Johnson made all seven of his shots. And on the other end of the floor, the Defensive Player of the Year candidate would thwart the Heat’s slashing. That included the play of Fultz, who was 1-for-4 for five points and slowed the Sixers’ offense with his indecision and inefficient plunges into traffic.
He followed up his brilliant 11-for-13 shooting day in a 113-92 Game 1 rout Saturday by hitting 12 of 20 shots.
The Sixers made just two of their first 15 threes and 7 of 35 on the night.
“It was tough”, Whiteside said after playing through foul trouble in Game 2. As I mentioned before this series started, the Sixers will have to stop Wade if they are to advance. Remember, welcome to the moment?
“I was like, ‘I messed up, ‘” Whiteside said of the play. “That’s what defines Dwayne Wade“. Simmons is doing things we have not seen from a rookie since His Airness. But a 6-0 Miami counter-punch put the advantage safely back to eight, deflating the rally balloon. “It was a very calming effect on the rest of our guys”. “It’s whose game gets to who more often”.