FINAL: Philadelphia 130, Miami 103
The 76ers outscored Miami by 31 points in the second half to take Game 1 of the best-of-7 series. Three Philadelphia players scored at least 20 points, led by JJ Redick's 28. 76ers went 18 for 28 from 3-point range. Kelly Olynyk (26 points off the bench) a bright spot for Miami despite the second-half collapse.
Thanks for following along. More coverage will follow throughout the night.
5:42 4Q: Philadelphia 112, Miami 90
Kelly Olynyk: 26 points, 9/13 shooting. The rest of the Heat: Not so much.
6:50 4Q: Philadelphia 109, Miami 87
Philadelphia has it's largest lead of the game and continues to dominate the Heat. As a friendly reminder, Game 2 is Monday at 8 p.m.
8:02 4Q: Philadelphia 103, Miami 87
Barring a massive offensive flurry from the Heat, this one probably won't be coming down to the wire.
Ben Simmons triple-double watch: 14 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds.
9:31 4Q: Philadelphia: 96, Miami 84
Time is running out for the Heat to make something happen.
On a side note, what a game for Kelly Olynyk: 21 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench
End of 3rd quarter: Philadelphia 90, Miami 78
Yeah. ... That was a rough quarter for the Heat. Miami outscored 34-18 in the third quarter. Philadelphia shot 52 percent in the period. Miami shot 26.3 percent. However, it's still only a 12-point game.
Some more stats: Philly outscoring Miami 36-26 in the paint and nearly matching the Heat on bench scoring only 41-40 in Miami's favor.
3:39 3Q: Philadelphia 81, Miami 70
The 76ers' run ends at 15 unanswered points. Tyler Johnson sank a pair of free throws for the Heat's first points of the half since Goran Dragic's 3-pointer a minute into the half. The Heat is 2 for 13 from the field in the third quarter. This could get ugly if the Heat doesn't find offensive life soon.
Philadelphia has outscored Miami 25-10 so far in the third quarter.
7:54 3Q: Philadelphia 69, Miami 63
Olynyk in for Whiteside. Whiteside not happy as he passes Spo on the way to the bench.
9:07 3Q: Philadelphia 66, Miami 63
Another slow start for Miami, which has been outscored 10-3 in the opening three minutes of the second half.
On a side note, Philadelphia rookie Ben Simmons is on triple double watch. 10 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists.
12:00 3Q: The second half is underway from Philadelphia.
Some quick observations/analysis from the first half:
1.) This feels like a typical Heat game. A couple runs here, a few lapses on both ends of the court there, and another close game in the final minutes seems inevitable. The Heat is a veteran group and has been in this situation, well, all season. Let's see if that pays off in the end.
2.) The Heat holds a slim lead despite a noticeably down game from Hassan Whiteside. The starting center has been on the court for just 8 minutes and has 2 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks to show for it. Can he respond in the second half? Or will the Heat have to ride sharpshooting from Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson (who have 27 of the team's 60 points)?
3.) One area where the Heat needs to shape up in the second half: Defending the three-point line. The 76ers are 7-for-13 from downtown in the first half (53.8 percent) compared to 12-for-36 on two-point shots (33.3%).
Halftime: Miami 60, Philadelphia 56
The back-and-forth game continues to be, well, back-and-forth. But as the teams head to the locker room, the arrow narrowly tips in favor of the Heat, which regained the lead after back-to-back 3s from Tyler Johnson and James Johnson.
Kelly Olynyk has a team-high 14 points. James Johnson has 13.
6:30 2Q: Miami 42, Philadelphia 42
A Justise Winslow dunk ties the game. Philadelphia calls timeout. Nine of the Heat's 10 players to enter the game have scored so far. Bam Adebayo is the outlier.
8:38 2Q: Philadelphia 39, Miami 38
Aaaaand the Heat's lead is gone. A 3-pointer from Dario Saric gives the 76ers the lead. Heat outscored 10-3 in the first 3-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter.
ESPN had both coaches mic'd up for the game. Spoelstra's message to the Heat during the timeout: Make the 76ers play "on our terms." That hasn't happened too much in the second quarter.
9:08 2Q: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra talked with ESPN's Israel Gutierrez after the first quarter, and he had mixed thoughts about his team's opening 12 minutes.
"Well, after the initial burst of energy, it turns into a basketball game," Spoelstra said. "We've got to finish quarters. We didn't finish that quarter. They were able to come back. That's how all our games have been."
The Heat's lead, once as many as 12 points, is down to 37-36 with 9:08 left in the first half.
End of 1Q: Miami 35, Philadelphia 29
The Heat outscored Philadelphia 23-10 to close out the first quarter.
The Heat closed the half shooting 55 percent from the field and a blistering 83.3 percent from 3 (5 for 6). Olynyk leads the Heat with nine points.
Dwyane Wade checked in with 4:32 left to play and quickly scored four points on a dunk and a pair of free throws.
4:32 1Q: Miami 20, Philadelphia 19
The Heat quickly made up its deficit and took the lead on a three-point play from Kelly Olynyk that capped an 8-0 run.
The 76ers' Redick returned from the locker room and checked back into the game with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
6:42 1Q: Philadelphia 17, Miami 12
After a back-and-forth start from the opening minutes, Philadelphia has gone on a 7-2 run to take an early 5-point lead. The 76ers are making their presence known from downtown. The 76ers opened 3-for-4 from 3-point range.
The Heat is shooting just 33.3 percent early. Tyler Johnson leads Miami with 4 points.
The 76ers' JJ Redick, the team's only player with playoff experience, went to the Philadelphia locker room after being subbed out less than a minute into the game.
Former Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson received a major ovation from this energized Sixers crowd during the first timeout.
8:11 p.m.: Game on. Wearing a Phantom of the Opera mask, injured 76ers center Joel Embiid rang the pregame "Liberty Bell" to ring in the postseason here in Philly. Embiid is missing his ninth consecutive game.
7:18 p.m.: The Miami Heat will start Goran Dragić, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, James Johnson and Hassan Whiteside tonight. Jordan Mickey and Dion Waiters are inactive. Coach Erik Spoelstra also said during his pre-game press conference that there will be no minutes restriction for Dragic, who did not play in Wednesday's regular-season finale against Toronto. Tipoff is about 40 minutes away.
Original post: Finally, postseason basketball is here.
The No. 6 seed Miami Heat opens its 2018 postseason against the third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. from Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center. If you're not at the game, you can watch either on ESPN (nationally) or Fox Sports Sun (locally).
This page will provide updates and analysis throughout the game. Until then, here's a look back at our coverage previewing the series:
▪ The Heat knows the playoff series "will not be for the weak."
▪ Weeks after teammates discussed Hassan Whiteside's complaints, the center has much to prove.
▪ A position-by-position breakdown of the matchup.
▪ Goran Dragic expects to play Saturday after sitting out the regular-season finale against Toronto on Wednesday.
▪ From columnist Greg Cote: Why the Heat is going to shock this postseason's "It" team.
▪ How will the Heat use rookie Bam Adebayo in the playoffs?
▪ Josh Richardson has had an All-Defense worthy season. Now, another tough challenge awaits.
▪ Can the Heat take advantage in Game 1 with Joel Embiid sidelined?
▪ Wayne Ellington is cherishing his Philadelphia homecoming to open the playoffs.