MIAMI — Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 106-102 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 4 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Saturday afternoon at AmericanAirlines Arena.
- The Sixers just might be one of those elite teams that are able to win even on struggling days. They had no business winning Saturday’s game, committing 27 turnovers and shooting 22.6 percent on threes. Yet, they produced down the stretch and escaped with a four-point victory.
- No one can question the Sixers‘ toughness after this playoffs series, especially after Saturday. They actually got the best of the Heat in a game that at one some point appeared to be on the verge of becoming a barroom brawl. The rough play eventually got to the Heat, physically and mentally taking them out of their game. They would be foolish to start something in Tuesday’s Game 5 contest.
- Ben Simmons is a milestone collector. At 21 years, 275 days old, the Sixers point guard became the league’s youngest player to record a postseason triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. He also became the league’s fourth rookie to record a playoff triple-double and first one since former Hall of Famer and Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson did it in 1980. This was also the Sixers’ first postseason triple-double since Charles Barkley recorded one on April 27, 1991.
- The Sixers became the first team to win a playoff game while committing 27 turnovers since they had the same number in a 126-108 postseason win over the Milwaukee Bucks on May 9, 1986. The 27 turnovers were also more than the Sixers committed in a game this regular season. The Sixers had 26 on two occasions.
- The Sixers, once again, frequently got to the foul line. They made 27 of 35 free-throw attempts after attempting 37 in Game 3. They made 28 in that contest.
‘Best’ and ‘worst’ awards
- Best performance: Simmons gets this even on a night when he committed seven turnovers. He shot 8-for-13 from the field. His assists were a game-high while his rebounds were co-game-high. Simmons was also dominant in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points on 4-for-6 shooting to go with five rebounds an assist.
- Worst performance: This goes to Tyler Johnson for being Mr. Invisible. The Heat shooting guard failed to score a point, largely because he only attempted one shot in his 12 minutes, 54 seconds of action.
- Best defensive performance: You have to give this to Joel Embiid. The Sixers center blocked five shot and altered several others.
- Worst statistic: Sixers’ turnovers.
- Best statistic: I have to give this to the Sixers holding a 57-43 rebounding advantage. Seventeen of their rebounds were on the offensive end.