Dwyane Wade says the Philadelphia 76ers are a "special" team

Johnson, 30, also dished out five assists, grabbed a steal and blocked one shot in 36 minutes as a starter at American Airlines Arena.

The Philadelphia 76ers have an opportunity to advance to the second round of the playoffs on Monday night when they entertain the Miami Heat for game four of their first-round series.

A triple-double (at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) is a sign of a player's wide-ranging influence across a match and Simmons again played a starring role as his Philadelphia 76ers beat the Miami Heat 106-102 on Sunday (AEST).

What can separate two friends and make them like oil and vinegar?

Rajon Rondo added 16 assists, and Davis also had 11 rebounds and three blocks for New Orleans, which is moving on to the second round of the playoffs for only the second time since the National Basketball Association returned to the city 16 seasons ago. They have been outscored by 42 points in fourth quarters.

More importantly, Embiid was also battling the Heat in the paint - when he was in the game Miami struggled to get good looks inside, allowing Sixers defenders to more aggressively challenge shooters on the wings. Oh, and this is the version of him without a jump shot.

Miami held slim leads at the half - 2-0 in players who went to the locker room injured, 4-0 in stitches received, 61-56 on the scoreboard.

The over is 6-2 in the Heat's last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above.600, 8-3 in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 10-4 in their last 14 road games.

"If somebody is going to push my teammate, I'll be there for them", Simmons said. James Johnson scored 15 points and Hassan Whiteside posted a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Spoelstra, meanwhile, said "it's part of my job to figure out how he can get to his strengths and make an impact on defense and rebounding".

The first playoff berth since 2012, the first team to win 50-plus games since 2001, the first rookie to have 12 triple doubles since 1961, and the first playoff series for the fruits of The Process - Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and company. Embiid had eight, while Simmons finished with seven. To pretty much seal the game down two, he commanded a nice play that allowed big man Joel Embiid to spring J.J.

They are pointedly focused on the present: Game 5 and the 76ers.

"One of the things (Embiid) told me during (Thursday's) game was to tell Coach that he didn't want any plays run for him", Anderson said.

"This is a very good team", added the three-time champion.

This series has been one of the most exciting to watch in the opening round as both teams have played physical with each other with a lot of chippiness.

  • Carolyn Briggs