NBA play-in tournament: 76ers snag No. 7 seed, Bulls KO Hawks behind Coby White's career night

Joel Embiid collected 23 points and 15 rebounds and Nicolas Batum drained six 3-pointers to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers to a 105-104 victory over the Miami Heat in an NBA play-in game on Wednesday.

Batum finished with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor, and Tyrese Maxey added 19 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. recorded 11 points and eight rebounds, and Tobias Harris added nine points and 10 boards.

"We needed somebody to hit some shots in the zone," Maxey said. "(Batum) hit some big shots. Buddy Hield hit a big shot. Cam Payne hit a big shot. Paul Reed played really well. Everybody who played out there (left their) imprint on the game."

The seventh-seeded 76ers outscored Miami 66-53 in the second half to set up an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the second-seeded New York Knicks. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in New York.

"I think they're for real," 76ers coach Nick Nurse said of the Knicks. "I think they're really good. They've earned that seed. We'll have our work to do. ... It's going to be a physical series for sure."

Nicolas Batum hit six 3-pointers and finished with 20 points off the bench to help the 76ers defeat the Heat in a play-in game.
Nicolas Batum hit six 3-pointers and finished with 20 points off the bench to help the 76ers defeat the Heat in a play-in game.

Miami's Tyler Herro contributed 25 points and nine assists, and Jimmy Butler had 19 points, five assists and five steals.

Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 15 points off the bench for the Heat, who will look to capture the eighth seed on Friday when they host the Bulls. Chicago won the late Wednesday game 131-116 over the Atlanta Hawks.

"We're going to bring a helluva game on Friday night ... and we will do this the hard way," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's just the way the deal is right now."

Haywood Highsmith sank a floater to tie the score at 96-96 with 1:30 left. Oubre connected on a driving layup with 36 seconds left and made the ensuing foul shot to complete the three-point play.

Batum blocked Herro's 3-pointer and Maxey made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 101-96. Highsmith and Jaquez scored from in close to trim Miami's deficit. Oubre and Maxey each sank a pair of free throws to create enough distance to overcome Herro's free throw and 3-pointer in the waning moments.

Philadelphia overcame a 14-point deficit in the first half and seized a 79-76 lead after Batum sank his fifth 3-pointer with 8:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. Batum added his sixth just 47 seconds later and Embiid converted from beyond the arc to stake the 76ers to a 93-91 lead with 2:33 left.

Butler appeared to injure his right knee after a collision with Oubre with 1.5 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Butler, however, stayed in the game and recorded his fourth steal to set up Highsmith's driving layup to give the Heat a 37-26 lead.

"As the second half went on, it started to limit him a little more," Spoelstra said of Butler's injury.

Bulls 131, Hawks 116: Coby White has career night as Chicago knocks out Atlanta

Coby White poured in 42 points — the most he has scored in an NBA game — and the Chicago Bulls remained in the hunt for a playoff spot with a solid 131-116 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.

White made 15 of 21 field-goal attempts and also had nine rebounds and six assists for the ninth-place Bulls, who will visit the Miami Heat on Friday with the winner claiming the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The loss ended the season for the Hawks, who finished the regular season 10th in the East.

Chicago's Nikola Vucevic recorded 24 points and 12 rebounds and DeMar DeRozan had 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Ayo Dosunmu added 19 points for the Bulls, who shot 56.8% from the field, including 11 of 26 (42.3%) from 3-point range.

Coby White scored 42 points to lead the Bulls past the Hawks.
Coby White scored 42 points to lead the Bulls past the Hawks.

Dejounte Murray had 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Atlanta, which lost its seventh straight game. Trae Young had 22 points and 10 assists, Clint Capela added 22 points and 17 rebounds and Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 21 points for the Hawks.

Chicago shot 65.4% from the field in the third quarter while turning a six-point halftime lead into a 110-92 advantage.

Atlanta trailed 88-85 after Young drained a 3-pointer with 5:15 left in the third. The Bulls then ripped off a 17-2 burst to open up a 105-87 lead.

A short time later, DeRozan hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 21. Garrison Mathews sank a trey with 3.1 seconds left to leave the Hawks down 18 entering the final quarter.

White made two treys in less than two minutes as Chicago's lead grew to 124-102 with 4:57 remaining. The Bulls' advantage topped out at 23 points.

The Hawks made 45.1% of their attempts and were 11 of 37 (29.7%) from behind the arc.

DeRozan had 11 points in the opening quarter as the Bulls took a 40-22 lead.

Atlanta rolled off the first 14 points of the second quarter to move within four. Chicago led 58-44 after DeRozan's three-point play with 5:58 left in the half, but the Hawks recovered to trail by three in the last minute of the period.

Alex Caruso's late 3-pointer accounted for a 73-67 halftime lead for the Bulls. DeRozan scored 18 points and White added 17 before the break. Murray had 23 first-half points for Atlanta.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 76ers defeat Heat, earn No. 7 seed. Coby White, Bulls knock out Hawks