Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Preview
Philadelphia at Miami
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 19, 2018
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

Following their first loss in over a month, the Philadelphia 76ers - likely still without All-Star center Joel Embiid - will try to take back homecourt advantage when they visit the Miami Heat for Game 3 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series. Embiid has been sidelined with an orbital fracture for 10 games, including a 113-103 loss to the Heat on Monday that tied the series up at a game apiece, and he was listed as doubtful after practice Wednesday.

Embiid posted an Instagram message before Game 2 that strongly indicated his desire to return, indicating that he was being "babied" by the team staff, and he participated in portions of practice the next two days. "It's still moving forward," coach Brett Brown told reporters Tuesday. "What I can say is there is a very unified effort with his representation and the people around him. With the people that did the operation, the doctors, with our medical staff, with the team, with me, the coaching staff. We're all doing this. There's a unified sort of spirit and line of communication." The Sixers had no issues without their big man in a Game 1 rout but they had no answers Monday night for Heat veteran Dwyane Wade, who scored 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting while moving into 10th place on the NBA's career postseason scoring list with 3,910. "It's just in my DNA," Wade told the media of his vintage performance. "I love the stage."

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNT, NBCS Philadelphia, FS Sun (Miami)

ABOUT THE 76ERS: After making 18-of-28 3-pointers in Game 1, Philadelphia was 7-of-36 in Monday's loss, and rookie Ben Simmons - who rarely shoots from beyond the arc - led the way on the offensive end with 24 points. Dario Saric contributed 23 points while hitting 3-of-10 triples and is confident that whenever Embiid returns the matchups will be very different. "When he comes back he'll be ready, and will kick their [butt]," Saric told reporters. "I cannot wait for Joel to come back and help us because we are a way better team with him."

ABOUT THE HEAT: James Johnson averaged under nine minutes a game in his first 19 playoff contests with Chicago, Memphis and Toronto, but he's making the most of his increased role with the Heat this postseason. The veteran out of Wake Forest made all seven of his shots in Game 2 and finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in 37 minutes, which matches his highest total in a regulation game all season. Johnson, Wade and Goran Dragic combined to make 26-of-37 shot attempts while their teammates were 14-of-45 in Game 2.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Johnson is 4-for-4 from beyond the arc in the series.

2. Sixers PF Ersan Ilyasova notched a double-double in each of the first two games of the series and is averaging 15.5 points and 12.5 rebounds.

3. Miami won both regular-season matchups at home by a total of 10 points.

PREDICTION: 76ers 111, Heat 108
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Philadelphia 53-31 L1 31-12 22-19 5-3 48-28 9-7 35-19
Miami 45-39 W1 26-15 18-24 5-4 40-35 11-5 32-22
Last Meeting
Philadelphia Miami
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/16/18 MIA 113 PHI 103 103 49 41.7 113 46 48.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Philadelphia B. Simmons 24 58.8 4
Miami D. Wade 28 68.8 6
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Philadelphia E. Ilyasova 11 6 5
Miami J. Johnson 7 1 6
Assists Player  
Philadelphia B. Simmons 8
Miami K. Olynyk 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Philadelphia J. Embiid 1472 48.0 376
Miami G. Dragic 1349 45.0 225
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Philadelphia B. Simmons 708 152 556
Miami H. Whiteside 677 190 487
Assists Player  
Philadelphia B. Simmons 710
Miami G. Dragic 369
Quickchart Matchup
Philadelphia Philadelphia Off vs  Miami Miami Defense
Philadelphia Off vs Miami - Points For 110.0 Points For
Philadelphia Off vs Miami - Points Against 103.3 Points Against
Philadelphia - FG% 47.1 FG%
Miami - FG% 44.9 FG%
Philadelphia - Reb 47.5 Reb
Miami - Reb 43.3 Reb
Miami Miami Off vs  Philadelphia Philadelphia Defense
Miami Off vs Philadelphia - Points For 103.5 Points For
Miami Off vs Philadelphia - Points Against 105.4 Points Against
Miami - FG% 45.5 FG%
Philadelphia - FG% 43.5 FG%
Miami - Reb 43.5 Reb
Philadelphia - Reb 42.2 Reb