Playing four regular-season games against the same team in 35 days – something the Heat had never done before this – certainly had the potential to become monotonous. But not for the Heat and 76ers, who provided great theater and fantastic finishes over those 35 days, including a 108-99 Heat win on Thursday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat moved to 35-31, tied the season series at 2-2 and closed within one game of the sixth-seeded 76ers.
Hassan Whiteside (26 points, 8 rebounds, two blocks) outplayed foul-plagued Joel Embiid (17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 for 18 shooting).
And the Heat got good work from Dwyane Wade (16 points, eight in the fourth), Josh Richardson (13 points), Tyler Johnson (12 points), Kelly Olynyk (10 points, 7 rebounds), and Justise Winslow (nine points, six rebounds, two blocks). Wayne Ellington hit three three-pointers in the fourth quarter and Winslow hit two, helping overcome a poor shooting night from Goran Dragic, who closed 3 for 13 from the field, with seven points and seven assists.
Ahead by one after three, the Sixers missed their first nine shots over the first six minutes of the fourth quarter and fell behind by 12 with under four minutes left. The 76ers pulled to within five but Whiteside scored five late points and Wade dunked to settle matters.