PHILADELPHIA — Dwyane Wade snuffed out one 76ers’ rally by popping a 16-foot fadeaway with the shot clock ticking down. Wade made a halfhearted attempt at reaching his hand out toward a fallen defender before he scooted on his way.
Wade was up, the Sixers were down and suddenly this became a series.
Wade turned in a vintage performance, scoring 28 points to end the 76ers’ 17-game winning streak and he led the Miami Heat to a 113-103 win over Philadelphia on Monday in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
“It’s just in my D.N.A.,” Wade said. “I love the stage.”
The 36-year-old flashed the form of a three-time N.B.A. champion with the Heat, not the journeyman who bounced around the last two seasons with forgettable stints in Chicago and Cleveland.
Wade made 11 of 17 shots, put on a show in the second quarter, and put it away in the fourth.
“I saw moments,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s what defines Dwyane Wade.”
The Sixers sorely needed Joel Embiid, their All-Star center who is out with a broken orbital bone.
It was Philadelphia’s first loss since March 13. They won 16 straight to end the regular season and the first game of the playoffs. This was the team’s 10th consecutive game without Embiid.
“You need Joel Embiid,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said.
Embiid went on Instagram after the game and wrote, “sick and tired of being babied.”
“Joel is a superstar. Of course we’re missing him offensively, defensively,” Sixers forward Dario Saric said. “He’s a guy who wants to play all the time. I can’t wait for Joel to come back and help us because we’re a better team with him.”
Even without Embiid, the Sixers trimmed the lead to two points late in the fourth.
The series now shifts to Miami for Game 3 on Thursday.