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Heat roar into All-Star break as winners of 6 of 8, with 109-104 victory in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – This wasn’t necessarily teams on fumes in their final game before the All-Star break, but this also was a pair of teams hardly whole.

With Jimmy Butler, Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson out for the Miami Heat, and with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris out for the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center hardly was the best of either team.

Ultimately, though, for the Heat, there was enough, the harrowing 109-104 victory making it wins in six of their last eight, a run that followed a seven-game losing streak.

So into the All-Star break at 30-25 it is for Erik Spoelstra’s team.

Despite some shaky final-minutes moments, the Heat persevered behind 23 points and 14 rebounds from Bam Adebayo,  23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Tyler Herro and 20 points from Duncan Robinson.

That proved enough to offset 30 points from Tyrese Maxey and 22 points and 10 assists from Buddy Hield.

The Heat now head into an eight-day All-Star break that will continue until a Feb. 23 game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the start of a four-game trip. The Heat do not play at Kaseya Center again until March 2 against the Utah Jazz.

Headed off to Indianapolis from the Heat for All-Star Weekend are Adebayo, who will play in Sunday’s All-Star Game; Jaime Jaquez Jr., who will compete in Friday’s Rising Stars competition for first- and second-year standouts, as well as Saturday’s Slam Dunk Contest; guard Alondes Williams, who also will be in Friday’s Rising Stars, as well as Sunday’s G League All-Star Game; and forward Cole Swider, who also will participate in the G League All-Star Game.

The Heat will regroup for practice next Thursday at Kaseya Center.

Five Degrees of Heat from Wednesday night’s game:

1. Closing time: The first quarter ended tied 33-33. The 76ers then held a 62-60 lead at halftime, before the Heat took an 83-82 edge into the fourth.

The Heat then went ahead 99-93 midway through the fourth quarter, their largest lead to that stage.

The Heat later appeared to build another six-point lead, but Adebayo was called for offensive interference upon a 76ers challenge negating a goaltending call on Philadelphia.

From there, the Heat went up eight with 1:13 to play, before yielding a Paul Reed 3-point play, committing a turnover, and then committing a goaltending violation, which drew the 76ers within 105-102 with 52.1 seconds to play.

And then came an emphatic Jaquez putback dunk for a 107-102 lead with 34 seconds remaining.

A pair of Maxey free throws followed to make it 107-104 with 28.8 seconds left.

But that’s when Adebayo came up with a key offensive rebound, converting a pair of free throws with 7.3 seconds left to seal it.

2. Rotation change: Spoelstra stayed with the same starting lineup as Tuesday night’s victory in Milwaukee, opening with Adebayo, Herro, Robinson, Caleb Martin and Nikola Jovic.

There was, however, a rotation adjustment on the second night of the back-to-back set, with not only Kevin Love, Jaquez and Haywood Highsmith utilized off the bench, but Jamal Cain added to the mix in the first half.

Spoelstra had gone only eight-deep Tuesday in Milwaukee, until both teams emptied their benches in the final minutes of the Heat rout.

Highsmith maximized his opportunity with three first-half 3-pointers, ignored at the arc similar to the Bucks’ 3-point indifference toward Jovic a night earlier. He closed 4 of 10 from beyond the arc.

3. Adebayo again: A night after his second triple-double of the season, Adebayo this time took an offensive bent against an opponent forced to start Reed at center in the void of Embiid.

Adebayo scored 10 points in his initial 6:49 stint, on 5-of-5 shooting, up to 17 points and nine rebounds going into the fourth quarter.

He then moved to a double-double with his 10th rebound in the fourth quarter for another double-double.

His late offensive rebound was one of six for the Heat in the final period.

4. Still going: Three days after a run-in with Boston’s Jaylen Brown that left him with a sore elbow and shoulder, and a night after sparking the Heat with 23 points in Milwaukee, Robinson this time was a perfect 6 of 6 from the field, including 4 of 4 on 3-pointers, through three periods.

Robinson later improved to 5 of 5 on 3-pointers after missing a running bank shot, his first miss of the night.

Robinson’s performance came despite three first-quarter fouls that limited his first-half minutes.

He closed 7 of 11 from the field, 5 of 7 on 3-pointers.

5. Herro’s moments: Herro was up to 15 points by the intermission, the Heat’s leading scorer at that stage.

Herro’s fourth assist was the 1,000th of his career. With his seventh  assist, Herro passed Grant Long for 14th on the Heat all-time list.

In addition, Herro’s 17th point was the 5,000th of his career.

Herro, though, closed 1 of 8 on 3-pointers, his streak of games with multiple 3-pointers ending at  15.

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