The Philadelphia 76ers desperately need Joel Embiid back on the court.
If he doesn’t come back soon, this series isn’t going to last much longer.
The Miami Heat cruised to another dominant 119-103 win in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the 76ers on Tuesday night. They now hold a 2-0 lead in the series as it heads back to Philadelphia.
The Heat flew ahead early, and built up a quick 14-point lead halfway through the second quarter after a huge opening half from Tyler Herro. The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year dropped 16 of his 18 points in the first half off the bench while shooting 3-of-4 from behind the arc.
Though James Harden kept them in it for a while — he dropped 12 of his 20 points in the second quarter and briefly helped keep things close — it just wasn’t enough. Miami built a 15-point lead briefly in the third quarter, and then fended off every Philadelphia attempt to cut into it with ease in the final 12 minutes to claim the 16-point win. Herro and Bam Adebayo were in perfect sync to help spark the last 11-2 run, too, which sealed the blowout win at FTX Arena.
Adebayo led Miami with 23 points and nine rebounds, and Jimmy Butler finished with 22 points and 12 assists in the win. Victor Oladipo added 19 points off the bench, too, while shooting 3-of-4 from behind the arc.
Tyrese Maxey certainly did his best to keep the 76ers close. He dropped 34 points and shot 12-of-22 from the field to lead Philadelphia in the loss. Tobias Harris then added 21 points, and James Harden finished with 20 points. As a team, Philadelphia shot just 26.7% from the 3-point line.
Embiid is still out dealing with a concussion and orbital fracture, which he sustained in the final game of their opening round series with the Toronto Raptors. Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said earlier this week that he was improving, but that the 76ers didn’t have a timetable for his return. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported on Tuesday that Embiid was struggling to even look at his phone, which isn’t a good sign.
If he’s not able to get back on the court while the series is at the Wells Fargo Center, a return trip to South Beach isn’t looking likely.
This post will be updated with more information shortly.