NBA regular season

Rookie Jaquez hits career-high on Christmas as Heat slow Embiid-less 76ers


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Rookie Jaquez hits career-high on Christmas as Heat slow Embiid-less 76ers

TOUGH SHOT. Philadelphia 76ers center Mo Bamba (7) defends Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) during the first half at Kaseya Center.

Rhona Wise/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Heat improve to 9-0 on Christmas Day under coach Erik Spoelstra as they outlast the 76ers, who are 0-4 this season without reigning MVP Joel Embiid

Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. recorded career-highs with 31 points and 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat took advantage of the absence of injured Philadelphia star Joel Embiid in a 119-113 win over the visiting 76ers on Monday, December 25 (Tuesday, December 26, Manila time).

Bam Adebayo added 26 points and 15 rebounds for Miami, which won its third straight game. Tyler Herro scored 22 points, Duncan Robinson had 16, and Kyle Lowry finished with 12.

Philadelphia battled back from a 21-point deficit early in the third quarter to tie the game at 86 after outscoring the Heat 37-23 in the period.

Adebayo scored to put the Heat ahead 110-104 with 2:26 remaining, and Tobias Harris missed a jumper on the other end before Robinson hit a three-pointer on Miami’s next possession.

Adebayo sealed the victory after making two free throws with 51 seconds left to give the Heat a 117-106 lead.

Tobias Harris paced Philadelphia with 27 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 25 points, Mo Bamba had 18, and De’Anthony Melton chipped in 15.

The Sixers lost for just the second time in their past 10 games as they shot 42.6% from the field and 17 of 45 (37.8%) from long distance.

Philadelphia guard Tyrese Maxey, who entered the game averaging 26.4 points per game, was held to 12 points on 4-of-20 shooting, including 1-for-8 from beyond the arc.

The Sixers fell to 0-4 this season without Embiid, who sat out due to a sprained right ankle.

Miami was without star Jimmy Butler, who missed his third straight game due to a strained left calf.

Philadelphia claimed an early 21-12 lead before the Heat closed the first quarter on a 14-1 run to move ahead by 4 points at the end of the period.

Miami carried the momentum into the second quarter and extended its lead to 60-43 on Adebayo’s dunk with 1:46 left in the half. Herro scored 16 points in the first half for the Heat, who held a 63-49 advantage at the break.

Miami pushed the advantage to 21 points early in the third quarter before Philadelphia responded with a 33-12 run to tie the game at 82-82.

The Heat connected on 47.6% of their shots, including 12 of 32 (37.5%) from three-point range. Miami improved to 9-0 on Christmas Day under coach Erik Spoelstra. –

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