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Heat slug 'snail-paced' 76ers, take 3-2 playoff series lead

Heat slug 'snail-paced' 76ers, take 3-2 playoff series lead
Center Bam Adebayo (C) was one of seven Miami Heat players to score at least 10 points in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday in Miami. Photo by Rhona Wise/EPA-EFE

MIAMI, May 10 (UPI) -- The Miami Heat out-hustled and thoroughly outplayed the Philadelphia 76ers to dominate Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals 120-85 Tuesday at FTX Arena.

"They were just more physical," 76ers coach Doc Rivers said in his postgame news conference.

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"We didn't run our stuff very well. We played at a snail's pace."

Seven players scored at least 10 points for the Heat, led by Jimmy Butler's game-high 23. All 12 players who entered the game for Miami recorded points.

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"We did a good job of sharing the ball," Heat guard Victor Oladipo said. "We had a lot of guys who had their hands on the game."

The Heat can now advance to the Eastern Conference finals with one more win in the best-of-seven series.

The 76ers made just 36.5% of their shots and totaled 15 turnovers, with just 14 assists in Tuesday's loss. The Heat totaled 11 giveaways and 26 assists.

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The Heat outscored the 76ers 56-36 in the paint, 41-27 off the bench and led by as many as 37 in the blowout. Their 35-point win was the second-largest margin of victory for a playoff game in franchise history.

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All-Star center Joel Embiid scored the first two points of the game, but the Heat responded with a 7-0 run. Miami added a 15-3 run a few minutes later to take a 25-12 advantage and never trailed again.

Guard Max Strus and Butler paced the Heat with 11 points apiece over the first 12 minutes. Miami led 31-19 to start the second.

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The 76ers used a 7-1 run to cut into the Heat lead in the second, but could not close the deficit. Oladipo scored 11 points off the bench in the quarter. The Heat led 56-44 at the break.

Embiid scored the first two points of the third, but the Heat rebounded with a 10-0 run to take a 66-46 advantage. The Heat outscored the 76ers 25-22 in the frame to take an 81-66 edge into the fourth.

The Heat started the final frame with a dozen unanswered points and outscored the 76ers 39-19 over the final 12 minutes.

"More than anything, we made shots and when we make shots we tend to get stops," Butler said of the Heat victory.

Strus totaled 19 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Fellow Heat guards Gabe Vincent and Oladipo scored 15 and 13 points, respectively.

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Embiid scored 17 points in the loss. 76ers guard James Harden chipped in 14 points.

Game 6 will tip off at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

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