The Miami Heat were in the driver’s seat until about midway through the third quarter, until Michael Carter-Williams and the Philadelphia 76ers decided to give Sixers fans an early Christmas treat.
The Heat were leading this game the entire time and led by as many as 23 points in the third quarter, but the Sixers went on a ridiculous run starting a little after midway through the third and they came back to win by outscoring the Heat 45-18 the rest of the way. Michael Carter-Williams finished with 20 points and Luc Mbah a Moute chipped in with 19.
The Heat were seeking their first home winning streak in over a month and the Sixers were hoping for their first win streak this season. This comeback win was so unbelievable that Brett Brown, coach of the 76ers, even thought it was unlikely. “A very unlikely win,” Brett Brown said, “with incredibly unusual circumstances.”
Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade wasn’t so thrilled about what happened. “It ain’t going to get no worse than this,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said.
The Sixers only had eight players available to play due to injuries, illness, and roster changes. Carter-Williams played the entire second half, and the majority of the team played a heavy load of minutes. This Sixers defense held Miami to only 28 percent shooting after halftime, which made Erik Spoelstra throw a compliment their way.
“Obviously, that’ll be a common theme that we were looking ahead, but all of a sudden do you start looking ahead halfway through the third quarter, `Oh, let’s start thinking about the Christmas game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s not it. You have to credit their defense.”
Dwyane Wade scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half and Shawne Williams contributed with 17 points. Mario Chalmers scored 11 points, but missed four 3-pointers at the end of the game that would have given Miami the lead. The Heat now have to rally back from this loss to take on LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Christmas day.
Robert Covington and Jerami Grant each knocked down 11 points for the Sixers, while K.J. McDaniels had 13. Philadelphia doesn’t play again until Friday when they take on the Trail Blazers in Portland.