Game 3: Heat at 76ers

Thaddeus Young battling Joel Anthony for a rebound.
Thaddeus Young battling Joel Anthony for a rebound.
Posted: April 21, 2011

Here is a look ahead to Thursday's matchup between the visiting Miami Heat and the 76ers.

The Sixers were competitive in a 97-89 opener, leading by 14 points early in the second quarter, trailing by 16, and then getting to within 88-87 before being outscored by 9-2 down the stretch.

In Monday's 94-73 loss at Miami, the Sixers trailed by as many as 28 and, after facing a 19-13 deficit after the first quarter, saw the Heat take charge with a 30-18 second period.

In the two games, the Sixers have been outrebounded, 98-79.

Can the Sixers, who looked as demoralized after Monday as they did during their 3-13 start, regain their confidence and their jump shots?

When the Sixers began 3-13, the 13th loss was a 99-90 setback to the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena. After that loss, the season turned around.

Miami put Joel Anthony on Thaddeus Young in Game 2, and even though Young had 18 points, 10 came in the fourth quarter when the issue was all but decided. Anthony was credited with three blocked shots, and it appears as if the statistician may have shortchanged him. For somebody who has just one field goal this series, Anthony has made a serious contribution.

The Heat are shooting just 7 for 32 from beyond the arc (21.9 percent). They have made up for it by attacking the basket and have attempted 68 free throws, compared with 35 for the Sixers. Miami has made more free throws (54) than the Sixers have attempted.

Since scoring 11 points in the first quarter of Game 1, in which the Sixers led by 31-19, Elton Brand has totaled nine points in the last seven quarters.

Andre Iguodala has averaged 7 rebounds and 8.0 assists, but he is also averaging 4.5 points while shooting

4 for 15 from the field.

He doesn't move well or take many shots, but Heat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas has been efficient with his few opportunities. He is 6 for 7 from the field and 3 of 4 from the foul line.

After scoring two points in nearly nine minutes of Game 1, Sixers guard Evan Turner was aggressive in scoring 15 points and hitting all three of his three-point field-goal attempts in Game 2.

While LeBron James and Dwayne Wade wow crowds with their spectacular plays, Chris Bosh has been outstanding in a more understated way. He is averaging 23 points and 11.5 rebounds, while shooting 17 for 30 from the field and 12 for 14 from the foul line in the first two games. One reason the Heat are in command is that their third-best player is better than anybody on the Sixers.

What happens if Wade, who has been saddled with migraine issues, reverts to his all-star form?

Can the Sixers starters outscore James after both they and he had 29 points in Monday's game?

Will the Wells Fargo Center, where the Sixers were 26-15 in the regular season, prove to be a home-court advantage for the Sixers?

Can Spencer Hawes come out of his funk?

The Heat have won nine straight games against the Sixers, which includes the last seven regular-season meetings and these two playoff games.

"We have to concentrate [only] on Game 3. And if we win the game, that puts their backs to the wall, and it kind of mentally breaks you down." - Chris Bosh

- Marc Narducci

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