PHILADELPHIA — Thursday was a do-or-die situation for the Philadelphia 76ers as they returned home for Game 6 facing elimination with the Miami Heat. The Sixers had the advantage of being able to be at home and the home team had won the first five games of this series and it had been relatively easy for them.
The Sixers battled to try and keep their season alive as they were only down one at halftime, but the Heat then jumped on them in the third quarter and they led by as many as 20. Heat star Jimmy Butler took Philadelphia’s heart and the Sixers did not respond in a 99-90 loss to Miami.
After it was all over, coach Doc Rivers and the Sixers discussed what went wrong in the loss.
“I thought, forget just the second half, we never got any offensive rhythm throughout the game in my opinion. More than just the second half, but the second half, the turnovers, the sloppy play just killed us. It really did, but I thought it was all game. I just didn’t like how we played. I didn’t like how we played last game. I didn’t like how we played tonight. Just all game, I know what they have, and I get that. You can visually see that. Athletically, they’re big, and I just thought that we had more. I really did.”
Rivers Won’t Blame James Harden
“I don’t lay the feet at anybody. We’re a team. We don’t do that. We really are. We lost together as a group. I lost, Joel (Embiid) lost, James, we all lost. The greatest thing about this is you keep trying to put your team back in these positions to win. That’s what’s so great about this. You don’t lose and then go home. You get to come back and I say that about James and all of our guys. That’s the greatest part. A lot of people don’t ever want to come back. Our guys put everything you have into it every year knowing that there’s a chance and even, a better chance, that you’re not going to win, but you want to believe every year that you can and every year that you don’t, you get your heart broken and it’s worth it. It’s absolutely worth it. I’ll tell you that.”
Tobias Harris on the bad third quarter
“Truthfully just a lack of effort on our part. Turned the ball over, didn’t get the type of looks or shots that we would’ve wanted. That was kinda the flow all throughout the second half was the looks that we were getting just weren’t what we needed to win a playoff game. Just when I say lack of effort, they beat us on the glass, 50-50 basketballs, hustle plays, all around. That’s not how we wanted to lose a game for sure.”
“We couldn’t get stops and we couldn’t score. We weren’t able to generate good looks for each other, for ourselves, and they were scoring. DJ said something in one of the timeouts, if we’re not scoring, they for sure can’t be scoring on the other side so it happens.”