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Sixers notes: Game effort against the Heat, but too many missing players, again

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia and Miami hobbled into the All-Star break on Wednesday without their superstars, the Sixers missing Joel Embiid, who had surgery to repair a meniscus, the Heat doing without Jimmy Butler, granted leave for a death in the family.

Several more key players were injured or sick as well, and until Tyrese Maxey returned in the third quarter after X-rays on his left foot, it looked like the bug struck the Sixers again.

The Heat prevailed, 109-104, at Wells Fargo Center and in doing so kept the Sixers from moving into the fourth playoff slot in the East. The New York Knickerbockers were trounced, 118-100, by Orlando.

If the playoffs began Thursday the Sixers (32-22) would be on the road instead of hosting the Knicks (33-32) in the first round.

Tyrese Maxey scored 30 points and Buddy Hield had 22 to lead the Sixers.

Bam Adebayo led the Heat (30-25) with 23 points and 10 boards and Tyler Herro added 23 points.

In the fourth quarter, the Sixers got a break when they had a field goal reversed that would have given the Heat a 101-95 lead with 3:32 remaining. But a turnover and an easy basket was allowed when the Sixers failed to box out, and enabled the Heat to go up by that score just moments later.

After the Heat grabbed an eight-point lead with 1:15 to go, Paul Reed’s three-point play and a goaltending call on Adebayo with 52 seconds to go shaved the lead to two points.

Jaime Jaquez dunked for the Heat but Maxey made two free throws to keep the Sixers within three points with 29 ticks left. But the Sixers couldn’t get an offensive rebound, Adebayo cradling a board and then hitting two free throws with 7.3 seconds left to seal it.

The Sixers led 62-60 at the half thanks largely to 17 points each from Maxey and Hield, the latter of whom made 4 of 7 three-point attempts before the intermission and was 5 of 9 from downtown on the night. Hield has made at least four three-pointers in each of his first four games with Philadelphia.

Herro scored 15 points for the Heat, who for the most part were content to shoot from three-point range.

The Heat led 83-82 entering the final frame, the game featuring a dozen lead changes and a ton of ties.

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In addition to Embiid and Kyle Lowrey, Sixers forwards Tobias Harris (left hip impingement), Nico Batum (left hamstring strain) and Robert Covington (left knee bone bruise) were inactive Wednesday along with guard De’Anthony Melton (back).

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Sixers rookie Ricky Council IV continued to play every minute like it could be his last as he tallied 13 points and grabbed four boards.

Council collected his first double-double this past weekend against Washington (19 points, 10 boards) and added eight points and five rebounds in the win over the Pacers.

“Ricky’s certainly done a good job,” coach Nick Nurse said before tipoff against the Heat. “KJ (Martin) done a good job. I think Paul Reed has settled in a little bit. He’s played pretty good over the last three or four games. He’s just really playing to his strengths. Those three guys have gotten a chance and done OK.”

Nurse wants Reed to play hard and hit the defensive boards. Mo Bamba, the other Sixers big man, has a shot-blocking role.

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NOTES >> Lowry will wear his traditional No. 7 for the Sixers, previously the jersey of reserve center Mo Bamba, who switched to 5 … For the Heat, in addition to Butler, Terry Rozier (knee), Josh Richardson (shoulder), Duncan Robinson (injury/illness) and Dru Smith (knee) were sidelined Wednesday

Source: Berkshire mont

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