The Philadelphia 76ers announced on Friday that Andrew Bynum went through a full practice. While a positive sign for the club, it didn't do them any good against the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat on Saturday night.
Even with Bynum, it's unlikely the Sixers would have beaten the Heat.
Miami put on yet another display of efficiency and cohesiveness, shooting over 58 percent from the field, scoring 40 points in the paint and allowing the Sixers a big fat zero (that's right, zero) fast-break points in its 114-90 win.
When LeBron James posts a triple-double, it's clear that the Heat are a hard team to beat. That's what he did on Saturday night, marking the 35th time he's done so in his career.
The Big 3 of James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade combined for 62 points on 27-of-42 shooting, led by Wade's 33 points. Still rocking the retro uniforms, the Heat also got double figures from Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole and Ray Allen and had only six total turnovers on the evening.
Miami led by just nine at halftime but increased the lead to 16 by the end of the third quarter and coasted the rest of the way. Philadelphia got double digits from four players—including 21 from All-Star guard Jrue Holiday—but couldn't get a defensive stop to make this a game.
With three more games to play against Miami this season and chances to make up ground in the East fading, Philly needs a new strategy to compete with the defending champs.
The 76ers have now lost four straight.
Player of the Game: Heat SF LeBron James
A triple-double is like a Triple Crown in baseball. Barring a win, it's hard not to give MVP honors to the player who accomplished the rare feat.
Only with LeBron, it isn't as rare as it used to be.
James had 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to achieve the 35th triple-double of his career, and he shot 7-of-12 from the field in the process. Many of his 11 assists were to teammate Dwyane Wade, who managed to pour in 33 points without making a three.
Next Up for the Heat
LeBron's hometown Cleveland Cavaliers will be coming to town on Sunday, followed by the lowly Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. Those are two winnable games for the Heat, but Miami has shown a penchant for playing to the level of its competition from time to time.
Next Up for the 76ers
Philly has a tough three-game stretch ahead, traveling to New York to face the Knicks on Sunday night before going home to take on the Orlando Magic. The 76ers will then hit the road again and head to Chicago for a showdown with the Bulls on Thursday.