Maxey scores 37, Embiid has 29 and Philadelphia rallies past Miami 109-105 to tighten East race

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 04: Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts after making a basket against the Miami Heat during the second quarter of the game at Kaseya Center on April 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle ((Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images))

Tyrese Maxey scored 37 points, Joel Embiid added 29 and the Philadelphia 76ers topped the Miami Heat 109-105 on Thursday night to tighten the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

Maxey was one rebound shy of a triple-double, finishing with 11 assists and nine boards for Philadelphia. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 18 points for the 76ers, who moved within a half-game of Miami for No. 7 in the East.

Terry Rozier had 22 points and Jimmy Butler added 20 for Miami, which entered the night No. 6 in the East but ceded that spot back to Indiana. Bam Adebayo had 14, Haywood Highsmith scored 12, Kevin Love had 11 points and 16 rebounds off the bench and Nikola Jovic added 11 points for Miami.

Embiid, in his second game back after missing two months following surgery on the meniscus in his left knee, shot 11 for 25, and the 76ers were outscored by 19 points in his 32-plus minutes.

Embiid checked out with 7:33 remaining and the Heat leading 100-93. It only seemed like the 76ers were in trouble.

By the time Embiid returned, Philadelphia had the lead for good. Oubre hit a corner 3-pointer with 3:30 left to put Philly back on top, part of a 14-2 run that wound up being just enough. Rozier hit a 3-pointer to get Miami within two, Butler missed what would have been a go-ahead 3 with 5.2 seconds left, and the 76ers escaped.

It was 88-87 Miami going into the fourth, which suggests that the first 36 minutes were close. They were not.

Those three quarters were just one wild mood swing after another. Philadelphia scored the game's first 12 points and opened on a 17-2 run, and Miami put together a 25-6 run later in the half to take a 46-43 lead.

And then the ebbs and flows really started: Philadelphia went on a 20-1 run for a 63-47 lead, Miami scored the last eight points of the half — capped by a buzzer-beating 3 from Rozier — to get within 63-55, the 76ers led by as many as 10 in the third, then Miami went on a 17-0 run spanning the end of the third and start of the fourth to go up 95-87.

On a night of runs, the last one went to Philly.


76ers: Visit Memphis on Saturday.

Heat: Visit Houston on Friday.