Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Ben Simmons Leads 76ers To First Playoff Win

Ben Simmons Leads 76ers To First Playoff Win

Warriors 113, Spurs 92: Kevin Durant helped the defending champions get defensive in a hurry, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Golden State Warriors returned to their old dominant selves at playoff time to beat the cold-shooting San Antonio Spurs.

With the win, the young 76ers take a 1-0 series lead.

The Raptors host Game 2 on Tuesday. We anticipate Philadelphia will be a single-digit favorite.

Their only previous victory in the opening game of a post-season series came in the second round against Philadelphia in 2001.

Miami held Philadelphia to 38.9 percent shooting in the first half. Two power forwards paced the Heat.

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Before the first National Basketball Association playoff game played in Philadelphia in six years got started, the always pleasant Philly faithful greeted the Heat with deafening boos and by shouting "SUCKS!" after each player in Miami's starting lineup was introduced.

The 76ers' prolific offense was in rare form. The Sixers finished 18 of 28 from three-point range. Veteran guard Marco Belinelli has a team-high 13 points off the Sixers' bench. Bellinelli and Ilyasova were vital midseason additions for Philadelphia.

Miami led at the half 60-56, but the Sixers went on a 15-point run as the momentum shifted their way. But since then, he's dominated, looking like the best player on the court because, well, he is. The All-Star center has been hopeful he can return early in the series. Wearing a mask similar to the one worn in Phantom of the Opera, Embiid rang a miniature version of the Liberty Bell before the Sixers players were introduced and the fireworks began.

The 18 triples set a new franchise record for the post-season, and tied a team record overall.

Game 2 is Monday night at 8 p.m.

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