Heat Vs. 76ers, Game 4: Philly's Late Rally Sends Series To Miami At 3-1

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Evan Turner Hangs Tough, Hits Two Pressure Free Throws In Sixers' Game 4 Win Vs. Heat

Evan Turner's biggest challenge over his rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers has seemingly been finding confidence. He thrashed about Doug Collins' rotation much of the season, failing to live up to his billing as the most NBA-ready college product of the 2010 draft. His shot seemed off, his defense ineffective and everything that made him wonderful at Ohio State just wasn't enough in the pros.

But that confidence looked just fine in Sunday's win over the Miami Heat. Turner drew a loose ball foul with just seconds left and an opportunity to end the game from the free throw line. Michael Levin of Liberty Ballers describes what happened:

 

With the Sixers up two, 2.3 to play, and against two of the best players in our generation, the occasionally-maligned Evan Turner toed the free throw line all by his lonesome. Two makes and he'd send the Sixers to Game 5 in Miami. One miss could mean overtime. Two could spell disaster. In a game against Washington when the season was still young, he missed two shots at the foul line that would have iced the game, only to have John Wall tie it and win the game in overtime.

Five months have passed since then. For all intents and purposes, ET isn't a rookie anymore. Said Elton Brand: "He’s so much more mature than the Washington game. I knew Evan would make at least one of them." Well, he made both. The first was an icy cold swish, the second kissed some rim before dropping in for the two-possession lead. Not only did it send the Wells Fargo Center into a complete frenzy, it put another notch in the mostly unadorned belt of the rookie.

Turner has quietly had a solid series, and could become the starting shooting guard for Game 5. It's quite a turn for a young player some fans were comparing to disastrous 2009 No. 2 pick Hasheem Thabeet just weeks ago.

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Heat Vs. 76ers: 'Good' Lou Williams' Leads Sixers To Victory Over Miami

Lou Williams' go-ahead three-pointer with 8.1 seconds remaining helped the Philadelphia 76ers extend their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Miami Heat with a dramatic 86-82 Game 4 victory.

76ers fans loved watching Williams make the transformation from 'bad Lou' to 'good Lou' during the fourth quarter. From there, he put the Sixers offense on his back, scored 11 points on five shots and led Philly to victory.

Sixers blog Liberty Ballers got what they wanted out of this series with that performance. The win was nice but it was the way Philadelphia beat the mighty Miami Heat that gives them hope for the future.

Regardless of what happens in game five, today's game made the whole season worth it for me. Not just because the Sixers won a playoff game in dramatic fashion, but because of the way they did it. The heart they showed down the stretch, while being down three games to none against a far superior opponent was unbelievable.

Game five isn't until Wednesday so until then, don't fault the Sixers fans for celebrating. This is "by far the best game the franchise has seen since Iverson left."

Check out our Heat vs. Sixers hub for full coverage of this series. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.

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Heat Vs. 76ers Final Score: Philadelphia Wins, 86-82, As Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday Fuel Furious Rally

On Easter Sunday, the Sixers came back from their deathbed.

Trailing 82-76 with under two minutes left, Philadelphia staged a rally to topple the Miami Heat, getting shots from Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, and, finally, Lou Williams, with 8.1 seconds left, to close Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series on a 10-0 run and claim an 86-82 victory.

The Heat, as has seemingly happened with all their one-possession deficits in the waning seconds of a game this season, failed to capitalize on a chance to tie the game after Williams' shot. Elton Brand altered a LeBron James runner, and the Sixers came up with the rebound and free throws to salt away the game.

That's a disappointing outcome for the Heat, who wasted magnificent efforts from James (31 points, seven rebounds, six assists) and Dwyane Wade (22 points, eight rebounds, five blocks, four assists, three steals) in the loss.

Williams and Turner led the Sixers with 17 points each off the bench; the Heat reserves, combined, had just 16 points.

Check out our Heat vs. Sixers hub for full coverage of this series. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.

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Heat Vs. 76ers Score: Miami Leads, 66-64, After Third Quarter

After the Sixers won the first quarter and the Heat dominated the second, Game 4's third quarter was much closer to a draw, setting up a potentially great finish. Miami leads 66-64 entering the fourth quarter.

Both teams cranked up their defense in the third period, as neither scored 20 points, and the Sixers were particularly bad from the field, netting just 30 percent of their shots.

Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are still pacing the Heat and all scorers, with 20 and 19 points, respectively, but each is providing more than just scoring: Wade has six rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and three steals, while the reigning NBA MVP has six boards and six assists.

Andre Iguodala leads the Sixers in scoring with 16 points, but the second-leading scorer in white is a bit of a surprise: Evan Turner, whose rookie season has been underwhelming, has 13 points off the bench.

Check out our Heat vs. Sixers hub for full coverage of this series. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.

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Heat Vs. 76ers Score: Miami Leads At Halftime Of Game 4, 47-45, After Brilliant Second Quarter

It's the same verse, second (or third) chorus for the Heat in Philadelphia today: after the Sixers stormed out to a lead, Miami flexed its considerable talents and rallied right back.

After trailing by 12 after the first quarter of Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series, Miami now leads by one, 47-46, heading into the half.

It turns out that LeBron James kind of helps the Heat: after he came back into the game in the second quarter, Miami deployed a devastating trap, racked up three steals and forced five turnovers, and ignited a transition game that produced no points in the first quarter.

James has 13 points and Dwyane Wade, who made all six of his shots in the second quarter, leads all scorers with 17.

The Sixers, on the other hand? Well, there's not a lot of good news to pull from a quarter that involved Philly's double-digit lead evaporating and Miami staging a 22-2 run to end the first half. But Andre Iguodala's got 12 points, four assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

The Sixers are probably going to need a bit more than that, though, now that the Heat are awake and angry.

Check out our Heat vs. Sixers hub for full coverage of this series. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.

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Heat Vs. 76ers Score: Philadelphia Up Big After Hot First Quarter

Miami may be leading Philadelphia 3-0 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series, but the Heat have struggled early in these games. Game 4's first quarter was no different: a hot start and smart defense from the Sixers has the home team up 28-16 in Philadelphia after the first period.

The Sixers have distributed the ball and the scoring well so far: Philly has eight assists, and five Sixers have three or more points, including Elton Brand, who leads all scorers with eight points.

We've seen this scenario in this series before, though: the Sixers led by 12 points after the first quarter of Game 1, and by eight after the first quarter of Game 3.

The Heat's biggest concerns so far? Shooting and foul trouble. The former has been difficult for Miami, which made just six of 22 shots in the first quarter as Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony struggled underneath and Dwyane Wade clanked away from the perimeter; the latter kept LeBron James, the only Heat player to hit all of his shots, sidelined for much of the first quarter with two fouls.

Check out our Heat vs. Sixers hub for full coverage of this series. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.

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Heat Vs. 76ers, Game 4: LeBron James, Miami Push For Quiet End To Series

The Miami Heat have, in a comparative sense, had a rather easy time with the Philadelphia 76ers. Games 1 and 3 were close late, but Miami has yet to require one heroic shot or some improbable finish to win any of the three games in this series. Other teams -- the Celtics and Thunder -- are up 3-0, but have been in complete dogfights in a couple of their games. Miami has seen minimal pressure.

That's no knock on the Sixers, who weren't even supposed to be here today. Philadelphia was one of the very worst teams in the league last season, and probably downgraded their talent base in the offseason. That's how good a job Doug Collins has done as coach, how much Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young have improved and how misunderstood a player Andre Iguodala has always been. But the Heat are simply too much, as we all should have expected; it's a team with three offensive stars and a great defense against a team with zero offensive stars and a great defense. It's a really simple math.

Assuming a win here in Game 4 (1 p.m. ET, ABC) or back in South Beach in Game 5, the Heat will begin preparations for the Boston Celtics, a team that took three of four meetings during the regular season. The Sixers' plan are less clear -- just about every player on the roster is under contract for next year, but the team lacks cap space and spent it's single super-high draft pick on Evan Turner, who will develop but may not have a Holiday-like ascension next year. We might meet the Sixers back in this same situation a year from now, which is OK, given the recent past.

For Miami, the stakes are much higher, and they would certainly like to get a jump on Round 2.

Check out our Heat vs. Sixers hub for full coverage of this series. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Sixers, visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.

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