PREVIEW: Heat, Sixers face off for series lead

The Miami Heat defended home-court and went up 2-0 in their second-round series over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers won their two home games and tied up the series. But Joel Embiid returned for the fourth-seeded Sixers in Game 3 and made an immediate impact. Kyle Lowry returned for the Heat in Game 3, but hasn’t looked like the marquee off-season acquisition in his two games back.

Lowry, by the way, is listed as questionable to play in Tuesday night’s Game 5 with a strained left hamstring. Some Miami fans have even said it may be time to shut him down for the rest of this series.

The Heat now head back to FTX Arena in their first moment of looking shaky during this playoff run. Suddenly, the 3-pointers aren’t dropping. James Harden scored 31 points in Sunday’s Game 4, presenting another problem for a Heat team that has never figured out how to slow down Tyrese Maxey.

Jimmy Butler has carried Miami offensively in Games 3 and 4. He’s put together herculean efforts, but the Heat retooled their roster last off-season to give Butler some help. That hasn’t happened this playoff series. It may have to come without Lowry Tuesday night, falling on Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro to shoulder more of the scoring load.

INACTIVE/INJURIES:

MIAMI:

  • Kyle Lowry (strained left hamstring) – questionable
  • Dewayne Dedmon (head cold) – questionable
  • Tyler Herro (ankle sprain) – questionable
  • Caleb Martin (ankle sprain) – questionable
  • Max Strus (hamstring strain) – questionable
  • PJ Tucker (calf strain) – questionable
  • Gabe Vincent (knee irritation) – questionable

PHILADELPHIA:

  • Joel Embiid (facial fracture, right thumb sprain) – questionable
  • Isaiah Joe (right ankle sprain) – questionable

PROJECTED STARTERS:

Philadelphia:

PG: Tyrese Maxey

SG: James Harden

SF: Danny Green

PF: Tobias Harris

A: Joel Embiid

Miami:

PG: Kyle Lowry

SG: Max Strus

SF: Jimmy Butler

PF: PJ Tucker

A: Bam Adebayo

ODDS:

  • Heat -3 (-110)

  • Total: 209.5
  • Moneyline: Heat -155, Sixers +135

BROADCAST INFO:

TIME: 7:30 pm ET

TV: TNT

RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)

SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

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