Joel Embiid's return sparks Sixers to Game 3 win over Heat

Joel Embiid's return sparks Sixers to Game 3 win over Heat

Joel Embiid's return sparks Sixers to Game 3 win over Heat

Marco Belinelli and Dario Saric each scored 21 for Philadelphia, and Ben Simmons finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. It didn't work, and the Pelicans took commanding 64-45 lead to start the third quarter.

How Porltand can counter in the deciding Game 4 isn't clear.

The picture started to get a bit rosier in the hours before tipoff, though, as rumblings started that Embiid had been upgraded to probable and had been had been outfitted for a new mask that would offer as much protection as possible for his just-healed mug.

What was supposed to be a first-round feud between Joel Embiid and Hassan Whiteside has turned into a one-sided beatdown at the hands of Embiid.

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Meanwhile, Miami couldn't find any sort of stride.

Whiteside's only basket, and shot, in Game 3 came on a lob from Dwyane Wade with 8:41 to play in the game. The victory gave the 76ers a 2-1 lead in the teams' first-round playoff series.

EMBIID: I wish I was there in that Game 2, because I was pissed about it.

Durant scored a game-high 26 points in the Warriors' 110-97 Game 3 victory against the San Antonio Spurs, while Livingston added 16 points in 20 minutes off the bench. He was groomed since he was 14 years old to play basketball. Philadelphia outscored Miami 32-14 over the final 12 minutes. It's hard to see Miami coming back to win this series if they have to win three straight games, with two of those being in Philadelphia.

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Of course, three games and 24 attempts a definitive, comprehensive sample size does not make.

But just like in Game 1, Philadelphia pulled away after halftime - and now it's the Heat back on the ropes. In the second half of Game 3, Brown went with T.J. McConnell as his backup point guard, a switch he also made in Game 2 after Fultz struggled on the defensive end of the court. The over is 4-1 in the 76ers' last five overall, 5-2 in their last seven on the road, 6-1 in their last seven against the Eastern Conference, 4-1 in their last five after scoring at least 100 points in their previous outing, and 5-2 in their last seven following a win.

The game was preceded by a moment of silence to remember the lives of Erin Popovich, the wife of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, and former first lady Barbara Bush.

Having finally made his return, head coach Brett Brown was proud of Embiid's comeback, especially given the circumstances of the Cameroonian's first-ever playoff game. "A very strong woman, and somebody that will be missed". Rather than being diplomatic during his postgame availability, knowing his team has to beat the Heat two more times to advance to the next round, Embiid let the trash talk fly in what will probably go down as his best postgame availability session of the season. Both got warm ovations when shown on the videoboards around the arena.

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