Ben Simmons Leads 76ers To First Playoff Win

Aubrey Yates
April 15, 2018

Miami led at the half, 60-56.

With the win, the young 76ers take a 1-0 series lead.

Despite starting the game 3 of 11 shooting and falling behind 19-12, the Heat handled the energy in the building well and responded with a 23-5 run to take an impressive 12-point lead in the first quarter. Two power forwards paced the Heat.

Philadelphia used a 34-18 third quarter burst to turn a four-point halftime deficit into a 90-78 lead. Philly controlled the pace the entire fourth quarter, resulting in a comfortable win.

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The 18-for-28 from 3-point range that the Sixers shot in the 130-103 victory is not sustainable. Marco Belinelli, who had averaged 18.8 points over his last five games, scored 25.

With Embiid out, the Sixers started veteran Amir Johnson (6-9, 240) at center to start the game, but went with 6-10, 235-pound forward Ersan Ilyasova at center and a faster lineup to start the second half. Bellinelli and Ilyasova were vital midseason additions for Philadelphia.

Kelly Olynyk had 26 points to lead the Heat. But since then, he's dominated, looking like the best player on the court because, well, he is. Embiid is a first-team All-NBA candidate as well as Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He is hopeful that he will be able to return for Game 2. Here he is wearing a mask and ringing a Liberty Bell replica.

The teams split the regular-season series, 2-2. Games in the National Basketball Association playoffs are more physical, more intense and more meaningful than contests throughout the regular season, and Philadelphia is aiming to show it belongs on this stage against Miami.

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