NBA Playoffs Update: Harden MIA in Miami, Luka Not Enough, Heat and Suns Take Commanding Leads

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NBA Playoffs Update: Harden MIA in Miami, Luka Not Enough, Heat and Suns Take Commanding Leads

Chicago Bulls

On Wednesday night, Miami and Phoenix took commanding leads over the Sixers and Mavs.

Heat 119, 76ers 103

Series: MIA leads 2-0

The 76ers are in a world of trouble right now. Not only did Miami beat them again to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series, but they also did so in a dominating fashion. This game was never in doubt, and now Philadelphia’s future in this NBA postseason is very much in doubt.

Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo’s two-man game was on point on Wednesday night as the duo combined for 45 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists in the Miami victory. Miami received solid contributions from their bench, with Tyler Herro scoring 18 points while adding 7 rebounds. Victor Oladipo scored 19 points and shot 3-4 from three-point range. Miami shot a sizzling 51 percent from the floor and 48 percent from deep while pacing the Sixers in assists and rebounds.

James Harden was underwhelming, scoring just 20 points on 6-15 shooting (1-5 from three-point range) while turning the ball over three times. Harden is averaging 18 points on 39 percent shooting and 25 percent from three-point range, and 4.0 turnovers per contest in the first two games of this series with the Heat. That’s unacceptable with Joel Embiid out and Harden the primary scoring option.

Tyrese Maxey led the way for the Sixers offensively with 34 points, and Tobias Harris scored 21 points. Beyond that, not a single Sixer was in double-digits on the scoresheet in any category. Philadelphia is in a bad way without Joel Embiid.

The series now shifts to Philly with the Sixers in a resounding 0-2 hole and Embiid’s status for Game 3 still up in the air.

Suns 129, Mavericks 109

Series: PHX leads 2-0

The Dallas Mavericks hung with the Phoenix Suns for three quarters on Wednesday night, but the fourth quarter was all Suns as Phoenix outscored Dallas 40-26 en route to a 20-point victory. In the fourth quarter last night, Chri Paul went into a take-over mode, scoring 14 points on 6-7 shooting in the final 12 minutes of action. The Suns now own a commanding 2-0 lead over the Mavs.

Paul finished the game with 28 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds on 11-16 shooting, and Devin Booker paced the Suns with 30 points on 11-19 shooting from the floor and 5-8 from three-point range. Phoenix shot 64 percent as a team and 52 percent from three-point range while leading the Mavs in assists and rebounds.

Last night, Luka Dončić logged another 30-point game, finishing with 35 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. Dončić is now averaging 33.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.4 assists on 50 percent shooting (39 percent from three) in these NBA Playoffs. Still, the Phoenix Suns might simply be too much for Dončić and the Mavs while at full strength.

Dončić is tied with Michael Jordan for the highest points per game average in playoff history, but he can’t beat the Suns on his own.

The series shifts to Dallas with the Mavs in an 0-2 hole.


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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.