What we learned from the Heat's win over the 76ers, including Duncan Robinson's role

In a back-and-forth affair, the Miami Heat executed in the clutch to pull out a victory against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Feb 14, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) dunks against the
Feb 14, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) dunks against the / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

Coming off Tuesday night's demolition at Milwaukee, the Miami Heat found themselves in a tight affair Wednesday night at Philadelphia against the 76ers. But even without their closer in Jimmy Butler, multiple players put their stamp on the game late, ultimately leading to a 109-104 win.

The Heat are 30-25 heading into the All-Star break, tied for seventh place in the East with the Orlando Magic and a half-game behind the Indiana Pacers for the sixth seed.

Stat of the game: 54 points in the paint

Going into Wednesday night's game, the Miami Heat ranked bottom five in points in the paint. But with Joel Embiid sidelined, Miami took advantage of Philadelphia's lack of rim protection and drove to the basket early and often.

One player who put an emphasis on creating rim pressure from the start was Tyler Herro. In a fast-paced first half, Miami found themselves often in transition and getting up quick shots, and Herro took advantage.

Herro's constant attacks got the defense's attention, and late in the fourth quarter, Herro made the 76ers pay as he found Duncan Robinson for a corner 3 and Bam Adebayo for a thunderous dunk in back-to-back possessions to put the Heat up six.

Instead of settling for jump shots, the Heat took advantage of their size, resulting in nearly half of their points being in the paint.

What we learned: Duncan Robinson continues to establish himself as a player who needs to close games.

Ever since the Jaylen Brown incident, Duncan Robinson has been on an absolute heater, scoring 43 points and shooting 11 of 15 from 3-point range. Given Robinson's improvements in his finishing, ball handling, and decision-making, when he catches fire, the Heat's offense reaches new heights.

Early in the game, Robinson found Bam Adebayo on two lobs in instances where he came off a handoff or a screen, causing Paul Reed to step up after Robinson's defender was trailing on the action.

Robinson was also knocking down his own shots, making all of his first six in the game. Robinson has consistently shown his impact when inserted in the starting lineup, and Miami's 10-0 record when Robinson scores 20 or more points speaks volumes.

When Terry Rozier, Jimmy Butler and Josh Richardson return to the lineup, Robinson will return to his bench role. But with the results being nothing but positive with Robinson starting and playing well, Erik Spoelstra has to make sure Robinson is closing games, especially when he's on his A-game.

Highlight of the game: Bam Adebayo's game-clinching rebound

After leading 105-97 with 1:13 left, the Heat suddenly found their lead dwindled to three points. And with one stop, the 76ers would have had a chance to tie the game and potentially add to the collection of lost leads.

With about 13 seconds left on the game clock and eight seconds on the shot clock, Tyler Herro took a deep mid-range shot that nearly resulted in a long rebound for Philadelphia. Instead, Adebayo got his hand on the ball, tapped it up to himself and secured the offensive rebound to give him 14 for the game.

Although his offensive rebound did not display a lot of strength or wow people by leaping sky-high, Adebayo made sure that the Heat avoided a potential disaster in a highly competitive contest. Adebayo then hit two free throws to seal the game.

feed