PHILADELPHIA — This time the 76ers, with reinforcements returning, had no problem with the depleted Miami Heat.
The Sixers welcomed back Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, and Matisse Thybulle, who each missed the past three games due to health and safety protocols and none of them showed much rust in Thursday’s 125-108 win over the Heat at the Wells Fargo Center.
It was the second win in three days over the Heat in this baseball-type series in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, the Sixers earned a 137-134 overtime win.
For the second straight game against the Sixers, Miami had the minimum of eight players at coach Erik Spoelstra’s disposal. The Sixers had 10 players but only played eight in Tuesday’s win. On Thursday, they had 14 available players and 10 had seen action before the first quarter ended.
Milton, who finished with 31 points, especially showed plenty of pep. He had 19 points at halftime as the Sixers led 73-58.
The 6-foot-5 combo guard has shown a great ability to get his own shot off the dribble. He can take smaller defenders to the basket, but also gives the Sixers a viable perimeter and 3-point threat.
Milton entered the game shooting just 27.5% from beyond the arc, after shooting 43% last season. He hit all three of his 3-pointers in the first half.
Harris also set the tone early, by scoring nine points in the first quarter. Thybulle was active defensively.
Before the game, coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t know how long the three would play. They had not played since last Thursday’s 122-109 loss at Brooklyn.
The Sixers were only without two rotation players — starting shooting guard Seth Curry, who missed his fourth straight game after testing positive for COVID-19 last week, and Furkan Korkmaz, out for the 10th straight game with a groin injury.