Wednesday's NBA: Adebayo, Butler lead Heat past 76ers 119-103 in Game 2

Associated Press

Miami — Bam Adebayo scored 23 points, Jimmy Butler had 22 points and 12 assists, and the Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-103 on Wednesday night for a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Victor Oladipo scored 19 points on his 30th birthday and the NBA’s Sixth Man of Year Tyler Herro added 18 for the Heat, the East’s No. 1 seed. Oladipo had 10 of those points in the fourth quarter.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) drives to the basket as Philadelphia 76ers guard Furkan Korkmaz (30) defends during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Miami.

Tyrese Maxey scored 34 points for Philadelphia, which got 21 from Tobias Harris and 20 from James Harden.

A 10-0 run in the fourth turned an eight-point Miami lead into an 18-point edge, sealing the win and ensuring the Heat would hold home court before the series shifts north. Game 3 is Friday in Philadelphia.

And now, the Heat will hope history holds — and the 76ers will hope it doesn’t.

Miami has taken a 2-0 lead in 18 previous series, including the first round this season against Atlanta, and won the matchup every time. The 76ers’ franchise has dropped the first two games of a matchup on 19 other occasions, never recovering to win the series.

The question going into Friday will revolve around whether Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid could be ready for Game 3. The league’s scoring champion and MVP finalist has, not surprisingly, been big-time missed by the 76ers.

More: Rod Beard's 2021-22 Detroit Pistons final grades

Adebayo surely isn’t complaining. He was 8 for 10 from the field and 8 for 8 from the line in Game 1; he followed that up with a 7-for-11 night from the floor on Wednesday.

It wasn’t just the absence of Embiid, though, that hurt Philadelphia. The 76ers were awful again from 3-point range, shooting 8 for 30.

Danny Green was 1 for 10 from the field — the second time in his playoff career that he had that many attempts and shot that poorly in a postseason game. The other? A 1-for-12 effort for San Antonio in 2013, also in Miami, the night the Heat won their third and most recent NBA title.

Nets' Simmons to have surgery for herniated disk in back

New York — Ben Simmons will have surgery to alleviate pain in his back caused by a herniated disk, the Brooklyn Nets said Wednesday.

The procedure will be done Thursday. The Nets said it was decided upon after consultation with multiple back specialists.

Simmons sat out this entire season. The No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft didn't play in Philadelphia after requesting a trade, citing mental health concerns. After he was dealt to Brooklyn in February in a deal for James Harden, he was bothered by the back while trying to rebuild his conditioning.

WNBA preview: Griner's absence, Hammon's return headline 2022 season

Brooklyn Nets' Ben Simmons stands by the bench during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in New York.

The Nets originally said he had back spasms but later said the problem was a herniated disk. Simmons eventually resumed workouts and hoped to make his debut during the playoffs, but that plan was scrapped when he experienced more pain.

Simmons will have a microdiscectomy, in which a small fragment of the disk is removed.

The Nets said further updates will be provided after the procedure.