Hidden Playbook

Miami Heat Blow 23-Point Second Half Lead Against Dismal Philadelphia 76ers

It’s understandable that the Miami Heat would not be as good without LeBron James but after what happened on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Arena in South Florida, things may be even worse than fans could ever have imagined.

With 8:11 remaining in the third quarter, Heat guard Dwyane Wade assisted on a Shawne Williams layup to give Miami a 69-46 lead.

Time out, Philadelphia.

Game over, right?

Not so fast. In an incredible turn of events, the 76ers (4-23) outscored the Heat (13-16) from that point 45-18 en route to an astounding 91-87 victory for their second straight victory and fourth overall.

For Wade, the loss was one he would like to forget.

“It ain’t going to get no worse than this,” he said.

Let’s not forget that this is the same 76ers team that lost their first 17 games of the season. But they have been better as of late winning four of their last 10 games. But still…

“A very unlikely win,” said 76ers coach Brett Brown, “with incredibly unusual circumstances.”

Sixers guard Michael Carter-Williams, who led the team in scoring with 20 points, talked about how his team just keeps fighting no matter what.

Miami Heat Blow 23-Point Second Half Lead Against Dismal Philadelphia 76ers
Photo: Michael Carter-Williams and the Philadelphia 76ers battled back from 23 points down to defeat the Miami Heat on the road 91-87

“I think we just keep fighting,” Carter-Williams said. “We’re losing — there’s not much we can do but keep plugging, trying to come back, especially when there’s time left in the game.”

The Heat are scheduled to play Cleveland on Christmas Day which means that James is coming back to South Beach for the first time since returning to the Cavaliers this past off-season. Could the Heat have been looking forward to that game instead of concentrating on taking out the Sixers?

“We’re not at a point where we’re circling some games more than others,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’re in survival mode right now.

“We can’t afford to look ahead, at all, ever, this season.”

“Our offense was empty,” Spoelstra said, commenting about how his team managed to score only nine points in the fourth quarter. “It seemed like we had a 16-minute drought where we couldn’t hold the fort.”

Wade said that his team will need to put this game aside and get ready for LeBron and the Cavs on Christmas.

“We had a lot of losses this year, so just throw this one on top of the rest,” Wade said. “I think everyone will get rejuvenated and understand that we have a nice Christmas game coming in here. Fans will be excited and we need to find a way to win.”

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