In the Eastern Conference, Dwyane Wade produced a vintage performance as the Miami Heat ended Philadelphia’s 17-game winning streak to level their series 1-1.
Wade, 36, scored 28 points in 25 minutes as Miami stunned the 76ers’ home crowd into silence with a 113-103 victory.
It was a superb display from Wade, a three-time NBA champion who started this season with Cleveland before re-joining Miami in February before the trade deadline.
Wade’s experience proved crucial throughout, inspiring a first-half fightback to wipe out the 76ers’ early lead before shepherding Miami to the win in a nervy finale.
Wade, who also had seven rebounds and three assists, was backed by 20 points from Goran Dragic and 18 points from James Johnson.
“I just came in with an aggressive approach,” Wade said afterwards. “I told myself that whatever minutes I was going to play, I was going to do it aggressively.
“Once the balls start falling for you then it just goes from there.
“I love the stage. I play the game for these moments. To be able to come through for your team when they need you feels good.”
Philadelphia meanwhile were left reflecting on their first loss since early March, jolting their momentum as the series heads to Miami for game three on Thursday.
Ben Simmons led the Philadelphia scoring with 24 points, with Dario Saric adding 23 and Marco Belinelli 16.
Sixers coach Brett Brown later was forced to respond to a profane social media post from injured star Joel Embiid, who wrote of his frustration at being “babied” after watching the defeat from the sidelines.
“He just wants to play basketball, to be with his team, to play in front of the fans,” Brown said.
“When he’s not able to do that he gets frustrated and I respect his frustration.”