Sixers close out preseason on a winning note

In their final tuneup before opening the regular season on Ocotber 26, the Sixers used a strong second half to outlast the Miami Heat, 113-110. Both Joel Embiid and Dario Saric had impressive nights and Jahlil Okafor looked sharp in his short time on the floor.

The Sixers got off to a decent start with Gerald Henderson doing the bulk of the scoring out of the jump with nine points. Joel Embiid as usual made his presence felt as well with ten points and three assists in nine minutes of play in the first half. Jahlil Okafor played eight minutes and scored four points with a rebound and an assist. 

 Goran Dragic would have his way with the Sixers defense with 13 points, six assists, and four rebounds in the first half. Willie Reed (11) and Hassan Whiteside (9) also did their fair share of scoring. With a 37.5 percent field goal percentage, the Sixers were fortunate to keep the score as close as it was as the first half closed with Miami up 62-54. 

Unfortunately any injury of any sort will make a Sixers fan cringe right now and we were not without that. Robert Covington rolled his ankle and while he returned to game action, he would exit the game after the half with a right ankle sprain. Dario Saric after turning up his game in the second quarter would head to the locker room with an abdominal contusion and was also able to return.

 The third quarter found a spark lit under Sergio Rodriguez after TJ McConnell got the start for the half with Embiid and Saric adding to their first half success. Rodriguez would have 13 total through three quarters and would close the quarter down just two.  Miami found themselves turning the ball over a lot which helped keep the Sixers in it. 

With a bit over four minutes left in the game, Embiid and Saric were in to make an attempt to close it out after pulling ahead by one. Embiid would foul out with a little over two minutes left and conclude just shy of the double double with 18 points and nine rebounds. Saric would hit a clutch three with a minute left but Luis Montero would respond with one of his own almost instantly to narrow the four point Sixers lead to one. A late foul on Jerami Grant gave him two free throws which would hold up for the 113-110 victory. 

It was quite the shoot out tonight overall. The Sixers certainly didn't play a perfect game and while Embiid's foul trouble is a tad concerning, he was clearly the star again tonight along with Saric, who led the Sixers with 19 points to go along with seven rebounds. Grant also tallied up a nice line for himself at the end of the night with 17 points, four rebounds and two steals. 

Up next, the Sixers open their regular season against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, October 26 at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.