February 3, 2018 / 4:00 AM / a year ago

Sixers nearly blow big lead, hold on to beat Heat

Ben Simmons had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists to lead all five starters in double figures as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Miami Heat 103-97 Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Joel Embiid scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Dario Saric had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Sixers snapped a three-game losing streak and moved one game above .500. Robert Covington and JJ Redick scored 13 points each and Justin Anderson had 11.

The Heat outscored the Sixers 37-17 and managed to pull within four in the fourth quarter, but Philadelphia was able to hold on.

The Sixers lost their previous three games at Oklahoma City, Milwaukee and Brooklyn.

Simmons, the reigning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month registered at least 10 points, five assists and five rebounds for the 29th time this season. Embiid recorded his fourth consecutive double-double.

Kelly Olynyk led the Heat with 19 points while Wayne Ellington added 16 and Bam Adebayo had 15 points and 13 rebounds. Josh Richardson scored 12 points and Goran Dragic had 10.

What seemed like a surefire win by the Sixers changed slightly in the early part of the fourth. The Heat proceeded on a 17-0 run yet still trailed 90-79 with 5:47 left. It was Miami’s longest run of the season.

Simmons and Embiid each scored, and the Sixers went ahead 95-82 with 4:08 remaining.

With 24 seconds left, Ellington hit a 3-pointer to trim Miami’s deficit as low as 101-97. The Heat would get no closer, however.

Saric drained a 3-pointer from the wing to cap a 7-0 run for a 60-46 Sixers lead with 9:14 remaining in the third. The Sixers also scored the next 12 points, extending the current run to 19-0 with Covington hitting a 3-pointer for a 72-46 lead.

The Heat missed 12 straight shots during the 19-0 Sixers run.

Embiid’s nifty reverse layup with 10.1 seconds left gave the Sixers a commanding 86-60 lead at the end of the third.

The Sixers led 51-41 at halftime thanks in large part to a team-best 14 points from Saric.

Philadelphia managed a 10-point advantage despite shooting just 3-of-15 from beyond the arc. Miami struggled on offense, going 15-of-46 — 33 percent — from the field.

Embiid did a solid job defensively on Hassan Whiteside, holding the Miami center to two points on 1-of-3 shooting.

—Field Level Media

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