Philadelphia entered riding a 17-game win-steak that included a comeback from a 4-point halftime deficit in game 1, but they could not turn the tide thanks to a vintage performance by Miami Heat legend Dwayne Wade.
The Heat not only tied their East Conference first round playoff series at 1-1, but put an end to Philadelphia's 17-game winning streak.
The unlikely victory just wasn't meant to be, though the grit and determination shown to fight back will certainly serve the team well when Joel Embiid returns - likely in Game 3 in Miami on Thursday.
The Sixers' star big man took to Instagram to air his frustrations following Philly's 113-103 Game 2 loss to the Heat at Wells Fargo Center on Monday.
The Heat slowed the game down - exactly the kind of style where the Sixers needed Embiid in the middle - and used a collective of defenders on Ben Simmons that rattled the rookie point guard early.
Simmons still finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists but Philadelphia couldn't play at the fast pace it wanted. Trailing by 16 with less than a minute to go in the third quarter, an Ersan Ilyasova tip in cut an insurmountable lead to just two points at the four-inute mark.
Even without Embiid, the Sixers trimmed the lead to two points late in the fourth.
Though Covington was a victim to Wade's fadeaway on that play, the three-time National Basketball Association champ was a victim to the Sixers' defense through most of the second half.
Wade actually outscored the Sixers 15-13 in the second, with the 13 points scored the fewest for the 76ers in a quarter this season.
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The 76ers were unconscious from three-point range in Game 1 shooting a sizzling 64%.
"I hate this feeling but maybe it's a good reminder for everybody for next game to lock in", Simmons said.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown addressed the post with reporters after Monday's game.
The strategy rattled the 76ers, particularly in the second quarter when they scored just 13 points to the Heat's 34.
"He does so many different things for his team". "It's born out of competitiveness and its born out him wanting to be with his team".
The 76ers held a moment of silence for Hall of Famer Hal Greer.
After trailing by 16 with under 11 minutes remaining, the 76ers made a run, getting the game to within two points in the final five minutes.
Brown said Embiid's post also spoke volumes about the competitive spirit the Sixers have built this season.