Nick Nurse explains move to bench Tobias Harris late after Sixers beat Heat

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers were able to walk away with a tough 105-104 win over the Miami Heat in the play-in tournament in order to officially clinch the No. 7 seed in the East. The Sixers will now take on the New York Knicks in Round 1 with that series beginning on Saturday.

Coach Nick Nurse pulled an interesting move on Wednesday. He decided to send Kelly Oubre Jr. in at the 4:12 mark for Tobias Harris. The Sixers normally don’t do that due to Harris’s ability to affect the game in so many ways, but Nurse decided to send Oubre back in for Harris.

“I thought Tobias was playing fine,” Nurse said after the win. “I thought he played a ton of minutes. I thought he was absolutely tired. That was the only reason why I made that switch and I made the switch back to Kyle (Lowry) with Buddy (Hield). I thought Buddy was playing great and gave us a spark, too, but I thought it was that time in the game where Kyle will usually make a play or two and he did.”

To Nurse’s point, Lowry did make some big plays down the stretch to help Philadelphia secure the win. Harris played 32:44 on the night which is just below his season average of 33.8 minutes per game.

Harris did miss some bunnies and shot 4-for-10 overall for nine points and 10 rebounds. Those aren’t spectacular numbers, but they are solid in a situation such as this one.

“Just was going with what I thought we needed at the moment,” Nurse added. “I thought Tobias had played his guts out for the entire game. He was just on ‘E’ a little bit.”

Harris played a part in the comeback win. He was able to help Philadelphia crack the zone defense the Heat employed that slowed the Sixers down a bit.

“Just figuring out the gaps in the zone and making quicker decisions when they presented,” Harris stated. “I think for us in the first half, we weren’t finding the open gaps and spots where we could finish at so I thought second half, we did a better job of figuring that out and getting to our spots.”

He will look to help the Sixers now upset the Knicks in Round 1 of the playoffs. He will just need to be ready for the next opportunity.

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire