Heat 113, 76ers 103
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, a series.
The Heat had to have this one — a brooding Joel Embiid is angling for a comeback.
Wade turned in a vintage performance, scoring 28 points to end the 76ers' 17-game winning streak and lead Miami to a Game 2 win over Philadelphia on Monday night and even the first-round playoff series.
"It's just in my DNA," Wade said. "I love the stage."
The 36-year-old flashed the form of a three-time NBA 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 and 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."
Miami’s Goran Dragic scored 20 points and James Johnson had 18.
The 76ers could soon get their defining Process moment from Embiid.
The Sixers sorely needed Embiid, their All-Star center out with a broken orbital bone, to settle them as they fell in a quick a 16-point hole.
The Sixers lost for the first time since March 13 to Indiana. They won 16 straight to end the regular season and the first game of the playoffs and played their 10th straight 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."
Pack the black mask for Miami.
"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.
Philly fans were going wild and suddenly the home-court edge that had made the Sixers unbeatable for a month seemed like it would perk the team back up for one more notch on the winning streak.
Not so fast.
Ersan Ilyasova made a tip shot to close to 98-96 but Wade answered and stripped Saric and finished on the other end with a basket that steadied the Heat.
The series shifts to Miami for Game 3 on Thursday.
Wade's play resembled his glory days at times and he carried the Heat in a sensational second quarter that was the difference. He pump-faked his way to 15 points in the quarter — impressive enough, even moreso that he outscored the potent Sixers by two points.
Wade made his first seven shots of the game and passed Larry Bird for 10th on the NBA's career postseason scoring list.
"I play the game for these moments," Wade said.
After a Game 1 victory where they couldn't miss, the Sixers couldn't make a big bucket in the first half. The Sixers made a team playoff-record 18 3s in Game 1 and missed a whopping 16 of 18 3s in the first half.
The Heat slowed the game down — exactly the kind of style where the Sixers needed Embiid in the middle — and used a collective of defenders on Ben Simmons that rattled the rookie point guard early.
The passing-and-pushing offense that got the Sixers to the No. 3 seed in the East failed them for the first time since early March.
But there was life left in the fourth.
Saric was fouled by Wade and sank both from the line to make it 91-82 and he followed with a 3 the next time down that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Saric broke up a pass on defense that led to a Simmons dunk and suddenly 18 straight wins was within reach.
Wade contributed with baskets, assists and free throws over the final 4 minutes to close out the win.
"We played Game 1 like a regular-season game and tonight was a playoff game," Wade said.
Simmons, who had a triple-double in the opener, led the Sixers with 24 points and Saric had 23.
"I hate this feeling but maybe it's a good reminder for everybody for next game to lock in," Simmons said.
Warriors 116, Spurs 101
Stephen Curry watched another lopsided win from the bench in sheer delight, wearing a sport coat and big smile.
The steady hands of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson certainly have made the two-time MVP's absence far less daunting for the defending champions so far in these playoffs.
Durant sparked a decisive third-quarter run on the way to 32 points, Thompson added 31 points and five assists in another superb playoff performance and Golden State rallied in the second half to beat San Antonio for a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
As Curry remains out likely for the entire series nursing a sprained left knee, the Warriors used all the offensive power they had to take both home games in the best-of-seven series.
"No one can make up Steph's contributions individually," Thompson said. "That's got to be done as a team and even then, it's hard with the way he can shoot the ball."
Thompson has found his touch after missing two weeks in March with a broken right thumb.
He followed up his brilliant 11-for-13 shooting day in a 113-92 Game 1 rout Saturday by hitting 12 of 20 shots. Durant also had six rebounds and six assists for the Warriors, who went without key backup big man David West down the stretch after he sprained his left ankle early in the fourth.
Coach Steve Kerr stuck with JaVale McGee as his starting center and the 7-footer contributed 10 points and seven rebounds as the well-rounded defending champions again showed off their remarkable depth.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 34 for the Spurs despite facing double-teams and Rudy Gay moved into the starting lineup and scored 12 points.
Game 3 is Thursday as the series shifts to San Antonio.
Thompson managed just three shots in the first quarter and began 1 for 5. He pounded the basketball down with two hands, frustrated, midway through the second quarter. Then he found his groove.
"He hit some tough shots off one leg and you know had some opportunity bounces," Aldridge said. "That's why they are who they are. They made tough shots. KD made tough shots."
A baseline 3 with 55.9 seconds left before halftime was his first of the night and got Golden State within 49-45 before the Spurs took a 53-47 lead at intermission.
Draymond Green began 0 for 5 before his first basket on the opening possession of the fourth quarter and Durant missed his five 3-point tries in the first half then finally hit from deep early in the third.
The Warriors opened the third on a 19-5 run to take charge but this time the Spurs didn't go away.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich went with Gay in the starting lineup for Kyle Anderson in an effort to generate more scoring — and his team still struggled to make shots.
Popovich said before the game that Golden State in Game 1 played "the most stifling defense we faced all year long. That was the best defensive 48 minutes that we have competed against all year long."
Kerr knew Popovich would have his team better prepared.
And the Spurs showed higher intensity on both ends through the first half, working to keep the ball out of Durant's hands or contest shots while jumping in passing lanes to force mistakes.
Andre Iguodala, the 2015 Finals MVP, started a second straight game and had 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Warriors beat the Spurs for the 10th time in 11 games covering the regular season and playoffs.
San Antonio struggled from the floor for the second straight game, finishing 35 for 85 (41.2 percent). In Game 1, the Spurs shot 40 just percent while going 9 for 22 from deep and got outrebounded 51-30.
West scored on three straight second-quarter possessions and finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 14 minutes.
But he got injured with 9:59 left defending Aldridge and headed to the locker room, despite appearing to try stretching out his legs to return.
"He had a really nice night," Kerr said. "I was concerned with that sprained ankle. We'll see how he's doing. We need him, but he told me he was doing OK."
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