The NBA Playoffs continue on Thursday, with the home team in must-win situations for both games. Here’s a look at the critical Game 6 matchups on the schedule for tonight.
Philadelphia Looks to Extend Series vs. Heat
The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping they can avoid elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a win at home tonight against the Miami Heat. Game 5 was a nightmare for the Sixers, as they lost by 35 points on the road 120-85.
The Sixers’ Joel Embiid is playing with a face mask to help protect his fractured orbital bone and has a torn ligament in the thumb of his shooting hand. If his injuries are affecting his performance so much that he only scores 17 points in the most critical game of the season, then maybe he should think about sitting out.
Miami must keep up their intensity as they did in Game 5 and continue to put pressure on Embiid defensively while limiting his path to the basket. Bam Adebayo was solid on defense in the last game, with him and Jimmy Butler also dominating on the boards. Butler led seven Miami players in double-figures with 23 points in the victory.
The Sixers will win at home to force Game 7 in Miami.
Suns Seek First Postseason Win in Dallas to Close Series
The Phoenix Suns are looking to finish the Dallas Mavericks tonight but must get their first win on the road in this series to move on to their second straight Western Conference final. The Suns lead the series 3-2 after their convincing 110-80 win on Tuesday night. However, Dallas has plans of their own for tonight’s matchup.
Neither team has lost at home in the series, with the Suns winning by a bigger margin on their home floor. Their defense has been the difference as Phoenix held the Mavs to 38% from the field and just eight three-pointers in Game 5.
The Mavericks’ All-Star point guard, Luka Doncic, is averaging 35 points, ten rebounds, and six assists in the series and needs to have another outstanding game if they’re going to win tonight. Although they have shot poorly on the road, the Mavs hope to get hot on their home floor as they did in Game 4 when they jumped out to a 12-point lead after the first period and never trailed the rest of the game.
The Mavericks must continue their outstanding play at home to have any chance of taking this series. Phoenix has dominated in the last few years against Dallas, winning 12 of the previous 14 games with no losses at home.
Phoenix will win in a close matchup and move on to the conference finals.