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Simmons Takes Over Second Half, Gives Sixers 3-1 Series Lead

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In a terrible game of playoff basketball, all the excitement and physicality was intact. The Sixers committed 27 turnovers while Ben Simmons recorded his first playoff triple double of his career (17 pts, 13 boards, 10 ast); the first rookie to record a post-season triple double since Magic Johnson in 1980 as well as being the first Sixer to record a triple double in the playoffs since Charles Barkley.

The Sixers opened up the game leading by 8 at one point in the first but trailed for much of the day, not regaining the lead ’til midway through the fourth. Foul trouble haunted the Sixers early with Simmons and Covington picking up 3 a piece in the first half. The three ball was also ineffective this afternoon, evidenced by a 22.6% performance from beyond the arc.

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At the start of the 2nd half, Ben Simmons was reborn. After committing three fouls along with only contributing two points through the first half, Simmons took the ball to the rack on two straight possessions to give himself six points, six assists, and four boards as he only grew stronger and more dominant throughout the rest of the second half. Simmons’ energy ultimately sparked his teammates such as Ersan and Marco who each were able to contribute big buckets. Ersan also added in three offensive boards.

Free throws were the story in tonight’s match-up when it came down to the wire with the Sixers converting on 77.1% of their attempts versus the Heat only knocking in just over half of their free throws (52%). The most important attempts from the charity stripe came down to veteran Dwyane Wade ultimately missing his second opportunity at the line, allowing J.J Redick to coral the board and knock down his two free throws to seal the game and a two game sweep in Miami to give the Sixers a 3-1 series lead heading back to the city of brotherly love for game five.

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The most important story line, in my opinion, came from Joel Embiid (who used an expletive to describe his performance). In my eye, it wasn’t as explicitly as bad as he thought. In 31 minutes, he was still able to contribute 14 points and 12 boards, even though he went to the line 13 times this evening. He also swatted six shots (well five if you don’t count that bad foul call on DWade at the end) which proved pivotal in their fourth quarter comeback.

Lastly, Ersan, Marco, Dario, J.J, and Roco all added in double figure scoring as well to spurt the team midway through the fourth. This statement win lets Philadelphia travel home with a chance to close out the series. A win in game five would give the Sixers a chance to rest and prepare a little extra for the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Haase, Pat, Lyons, Joe, as well as Myself will be talking about this series so far and what to expect for Tuesdays game on Monday night at 9:15 pm on wildfireradio.com.

About David Fenster

Recent Temple University grad looking to make his mark on the world of sports broadcasting. Host of "The Phifth Quarter Podcast" @thephifthq on Wildfire Radio. TV/Radio personality looking for his big break.

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