Entering the playoffs Olivier Vernon Jersey , there was some question if the Philadelphia 76ers could keep up their torrid pace.
After the most lopsided Game 1 victory so far, consider the question answered. Emphatically.
The 76ers head into Tuesday’s Game 2 8 p.m. showdown with the Miami Heat riding a 17-game winning streak — including Saturday’s 130-103 win at Wells Fargo Center — and with the knowledge that Joel Embiid’s return may come sooner than later.
For their first playoff trip in more than a half-decade, things aren’t starting off so bad for Philadelphia.
“Now I think we are 26-1 at home since Christmas, we’ve won a lot of games in a row, it sort of all adds up,” head coach Brett Brown said. “We’ve talked a lot about how do we come out of halftime. Lots of times in the normal regular season it’s not uncommon for both teams to need to have the dust shaken off of them to respond and start playing competitive basketball again.”
Philadelphia seemed well-oiled — and well-prepared — against the Heat in Game 1, even after trailing by four at the half. The 76ers blitzed Miami with a 34-18 third quarter and then slammed the door shut with a 40-25 fourth quarter, hitting the 130-point mark for the third time in five games.
“They just played unbelievably,” Miami guard Goran Dragic said. “They were hitting some shots, they didn’t run away from the game. They were physical the whole game. They have some good shooters. We just fell apart at the end of third, beginning of the fourth quarter. We didn’t play defense well. Most of the shots, that’s the shots, they were making. We can do nothing about that. We need to go and see film Tom Brady Jersey , try to get better and get back to work Monday.”
If Embiid returns sooner than later, the Heat could be in big trouble.
Embiid cleared concussion protocol on Sunday, Brown said, though the team does not have a specific date for return. Embiid, who missed the final eight games of the regular season after colliding with teammate Markelle Fultz and suffering an orbital bone fracture and a concussion, told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he feels ready to contribute.
“If it was my decision, I would play, but I can’t get back out on the court if I don’t have the OK from them,” said Embiid, who averaged 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 63 games in the regular season. “But everything has been going well. I’ve been able to do everything. And I feel great. So we got a pretty good chance for Game 2 or Game 3. We gonna see how it feels in the next couple of days.”
Should Embiid return, the 76ers will add to their decisive front-court advantage over the Heat. Miami’s best offensive post player may be reserve forward Kelly Olynyk, who had 26 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes off the bench in Game 1.
Center Hassan Whiteside had just two points and six rebounds in 12 minutes in the first game.
“It’s not about him Jordan Matthews Jersey ,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game. “This series and this game are going to move quickly. There are a lot of substitutions both ways and there is not a lot of time based on the flow and the matchups. It’s not necessarily an indictment to his first four minutes but we all have to collectively be better on Monday.”
HOUSTON (AP) — After throwing just one pass in his return to game action last week, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was determined to stay on the field a little longer on Saturday night.
Watson used his one series to march the Texans down the field, going 5 of 8 for 73 yards, capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Ellington in Houston’s 16-13 exhibition victory over the San Francisco 49ers,
“I guess he was 5 for 8, but I think he had three drops on the drive,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “I thought he did some nice things. We were able to play at a pretty good tempo and get in the end zone so that was good.”
It was a much lengthier outing than the preseason opener in Kansas City, when Watson attempted just one pass in his return to game action after missing the second half of his rookie season with a torn ACL.
“I felt good just to be in a game,” Watson said. “Try to get my feet wet. It was a good drive for us.”
Watson’s efficiency matched a nice opening drive from San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Trent Taylor.
Garoppolo’s night ended after his second drive when a deep pass to Dante Pettis bounced off Pettis’ hands and was intercepted by Johnson Bademosi. Garoppolo was 10 of 12 for 136 yards and said there were plenty of “simple mistakes” that the team can work on correcting before the regular season begins.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he was tempted to send his first-string offense out for a third series.
“I wanted them to get going more,” Shanahan said. “I didn’t think our execution was great in the first game. I didn’t think it was great in this game either, but I just wanted to give them more time to play.”
Backup quarterbacks Brandon Weeden for Houston and C.J. Beathard for San Francisco struggled to move the ball and the game was tied at 7 at halftime.
Weeden completed 7 of 15 passes for 50 yards, while Beathard was 10 of 17 for 82 yards.
With Texans kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn nursing an undisclosed injury Joey Bosa Jersey , recent acquisition Nick Rose made a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter to put Houston up 10-7. Robbie Gould tied the game at 10 later in the third with a 39-yarder.
After Gould made a 41-yard field goal with 1:41 remaining, Houston third-string quarterback Joe Webb led the Texans down the field and found Vyncint Smith for a 41-yard touchdown with 27 seconds remaining.
With San Francisco down two running backs, including starter Jerick McKinnon (calf) and Matt Breida (shoulder), Jeremy McNichols got the start for the 49ers, rushing for 28 yards on 10 carries. Most offensive starters played the first two series.
Defensively, starting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and K’Waun Williams did not play.
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, safety Tyrann Mathieu, cornerback Johnathan Joseph and several other Texans defensive starters didn’t play. Offensively, starting wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller did not play.
No players from the 49ers or the Texans kneeled during the national anthem, although 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin did raise his right fist for the duration. Linebacker Eli Harold kneeled during the anthem the past two years, but stood on Saturday night.
49ers: Backup OL Erik Magnuson suffered a hamstring injury in the third quarter and limped to the locker room. DEs Solomon Thomas (concussion) and Arik Armstead (hamstring), TE George Kittle (shoulder) Patrick Onwuasor Jersey , Breida (shoulder), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and McKinnon (calf) were inactive.
Texans: Starting CB Kevin Johnson suffered a concussion after defending a pass from Garoppolo on the first drive. Johnson landed awkwardly on his shoulder and was treated on the field by the team’s medical staff for nearly five minutes before being escorted to the locker room. O’Brien said after the game he was taken to the hospital and that he was doing OK. … Texans WR Sammie Coates Jr. also suffered a concussion.
LOWERING THE HEAD
San Francisco was twice flagged for the league’s new penalties for lowering the head to initiate contact, both in the second quarter. The first came on a punt return and was charged to Raheem Mostert and the second came against Jeremiah Attaochu while rushing the passer.
“Extremely disappointing. There were way too many penalties. We’ll look at each one. Some you can control and some you can’t, but they really hurt us. They were unacceptable.” — Shanahan on San Francisco’s 15 penalties for 140 yards
HE SAID IT
“I feel more comfortable just being out there with the guys longer. Last season, I came off the streets. This year, we have time to work on plays, work on being better.” —Texans WR Bruce Ellington
The 49ers (1-1) return to action on Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Colts.
The Texans (2-0) visit the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Aug. 25.
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