Welcome to Bulletin Board Material, the Miami Herald’s weekday roundup covering everything in the South Florida sports scene. A lot to discuss. Let’s get right to it.
Heat goes cold
This was supposed to be the the Miami Heat's game.
It was the first playoff game of the series in front of the home crowd. It was coming off a heroic performance on the road to tie the series at 1-1.
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The series lead was there for the Heat to take.
And then, as the fourth quarter trudged on, the Heat slowed down and the Philadelphia 76ers found ways to keep moving.
In the end, the 76ers found their three-point stroke again and Joel Embiid showed what a force he could be as the Sixers thrashed the Heat 128-108on Thursday night.
In a game that featured 17 lead changes and 13 ties, the 76ers took their 2-point lead into the fourth quarter and never gave it back, outscoring Miami 32-14 in the final 12 minutes to seal the game.
"It's clear the first game and the third game were played on their terms," Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said. "We do not want this to be a crawl. Not that's how we play either. But we certainly don't want these crawling into 130s. That's definitely in their wheelhouse. And we paid the price for that."
The return of Embiid, who missed 10 games prior after fracturing the orbital bone near his left eye, played a factor too. Despite having to wear a mask throughout the game to protect his face, Embiid dominated in the paint and made Hassan Whiteside irrelevant on the rare times Whiteside was on the court and not in foul trouble. Embiid's final statline: 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in 30 minutes of action.
And, in Embiid's words, he's ready to be a nightmare for the Heat for the rest of the series.
The series continues Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at AmericanAirlines Arena. A win gives the Heat life again and forced the series to at least go to six games, meaning at least one more home game. A loss, however, plummets Miami to a 1-3 deficit and would require the Heat to close out the series with three straight wins (including two at Philadelphia) to advance in the playoffs.
Once Thursday came to an end, it was clear who the Miami Dolphins would be playing in 2018, when they would be playing them and (to an extent) what they will be wearing on gameday.
On the uniform front, the deep blue that was used to outline the numbers and helmet strip are gone, the orange seen throughout is a bit bolder (and darker), and throwback uniforms will be worn twice during the season.
As for the schedule, the Dolphins open at home against the Tennessee Titans, have a bye in Week 11 and close the season at Buffalo.
The full schedule with analysis can be found here.
Another Marlins loss
After the hitting slump Lewis Brinson has endured to start his Marlins tenure, it seemed like only a matter of time before the outfielder found a way to break out.
He did that Thursdayagainst his former team, hitting a pair of home runs against the Milwaukee Brewers, two shots that gave the Marlins an early lead.
But in typical Marlins fashion, that lead quickly disappeared and the opposition make quick work of the rebuilding Miami team.
Final score from Milwaukee on Thursday: Brewers 12, Marlins 3.
Miami now drops to 5-13 on the season. The second game of the three-game series starts at 8:10 p.m.
Hurricane hit list
Remember that "hit list" the Miami Hurricanes had last year?
Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame - all teams that defeated the Hurricanes in consecutive weeks during the 2016 season - were on it.
The Canes vowed to mow each team down in 2017. They did.
Now, Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, never shy about complimenting or criticizing his players, indicated that he believes his defense will be ready .
More news and notes
▪ Devin Hester, Frank Gore, Larry Coker reunite at UM Sports Hall of Fame induction
▪ Chris Collinsworth and a former NFL general manager assess the Dolphins' offseason thus far.
▪ Here's what's happening at the Hurricanes' running back competition
▪ Tennis star threatens to boycott Miami Open next year due to unruly fans.