Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 104-91 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
- This victory enabled the Sixers to win a playoff series in five or fewer games for the first time since sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks in four games in the 1985 Eastern Conference semifinals. This also marked the first time the Sixers won three straight postseason games since 2012.
- Remember when the Sixers used to become unglued in the third quarter? Well, the third quarter has been a major strength for Philly in these playoffs. The Sixers shot 52 percent from the field and outscored the Heat by an average of 7.4 points in the third quarter. It was the third-best margin by any team in this season’s playoffs.
- JJ Redick is worth the $23 million he has received this season. The shooting guard scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half and hit five three-pointers to match his career playoff high. Redick has scored 24 or more points in two straight and three of the Sixers’ five postseason games.
- Joel Embiid had 19 points, 12 rebounds and one block Tuesday. That enabled him to become the seventh player since 1974 to total 56 points, 31 rebounds and nine blocks in his first three playoff games. He’s the first to accomplish that feat since New Orleans Pelicans post player Anthony Davis in 2015.
- With 14 points and 10 rebounds, Ben Simmons recorded his fourth double-double of the postseason. That ties him with Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook for the most double-doubles of these playoffs.
‘Best’ and ‘worst’ awards
- Best performance: This was easy. Redick gets this on a night that Embiid and Simmons both had double-doubles. Redick’s points and three-pointers were both game highs. He also made all 10 of his foul shots.
- Worst performance: This has to go to Hassan Whiteside. The Heat center finished with two points, missing all four of his shots. He had more personal fouls (three) than points scored in 10 minutes, 5 seconds of action.
- Best defensive performance: This goes to Heat reserve post player Kelly Olynyk, who had a game-high three steals and one block.
- Worst statistic: I had to give this to the Heat’s shooting 59.1 percent (13 for 22) from the foul line.
- Best statistic: This goes to the Sixers’ holding a 44-30 rebounding advantage.