NBA Fans Jokingly Credit Free Chicken Promo As Turning Point in 76ers' Win vs. Heat

Free chicken changed the NBA play-in tournament game in Philadelphia.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers were struggling to find a rhythm against the Miami Heat on Wednesday in their NBA play-in tournament clash at Wells Fargo Center.

The 76ers mustered just 39 points in the first half and trailed by double-digits at the break. The Heat carried that lead into the third quarter before momentum suddenly changed.

With 6:57 remaining in the third quarter and Miami leading 59–48, Heat forward Caleb Martin strolled up to the free-throw line. He missed the first attempt.

That's when the 76ers' public address announcer proclaimed over the loudspeakers that Martin's next free throw would determine if fans would receiver free chicken from Chick-fil-A on Thursday thanks to the team's "Bricken for Chicken" promotion.

76ers fans got on their feet, and sure enough, Martin missed his second free-throw attempt. Free chicken for everybody. Philadelphia immediately went on an 8–0 run to shrink Miami's lead to three points.

"Alright, it's that time for chicken, free chicken," play-by-play commentator Mike Breen said on the ESPN broadcast. "Yes! And the crowd explodes."

Philadelphia went on to win 105–104, securing the Eastern Conference's No. 7 playoff seed and a first-round series matchup against the No. 2-seeded New York Knicks. They outscored the Heat 56–45 after fans earned their free chicken in the third quarter.

Joel Embiid registered a double-double and Nicolas Batum poured in 20 points off the bench, but NBA fans gave plenty of credit to the free chicken for inspiring Philadelphia to victory:

Tom Dierberger


Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.