Joel Embiid had 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in a triumphant return from injury as the host Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Miami Heat 99-79 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Friday night.
Embiid returned after missing two straight games due to a concussion and a facial fracture. The Sixers are 6-10 without Embiid across the regular season and playoffs and 50-25 with him.
Tyrese Maxey had all 21 of his points in the second half for the Sixers, and Danny Green, who entered the game in a shooting slump, made 7 of 9 3-pointers to finish with 21 points. He had gone just 2 for 14 from distance in the first two games of the series.
Miami still leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1. Game 4 is set for Sunday night in Philadelphia.
Jimmy Butler led the Heat with a game-high 33 points and nine rebounds.
The Sixers also got 17 points from James Harden, including 15 in the first half. Tobias Harris had a near triple-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Heat point guard Kyle Lowry, who returned after missing four straight games due to a hamstring injury, had no points and three assists in 25 minutes. Besides Butler, Miami’s only other double-figure scorer was Tyler Herro (14 points).
In the first period, both teams shot below 36 percent from the floor, and Philadelphia led 21-17.
Philadelphia started the second quarter with a 9-0 run and took a 41-34 lead into halftime. Both teams shot less than 35 percent from the floor in the first half, but the Sixers made 5 of 14 on 3-pointers (35.7 percent). Miami made just 2 of 16 from distance (12.5 percent).
The Sixers started the third quarter on a 7-0 run, but Miami went on to pull together a 13-0 stretch and ultimately tie the score at 57. Maxey then hit a 3-pointer, got a steal and converted a layup before the Sixers ended the third on top, 68-65.
The Sixers never lost their lead in the fourth quarter, prevailing despite turning the ball over 19 times in the game — seven more than Miami.
For the game, Philadelphia shot 47.8 percent from the floor, including 16 of 33 3-pointers (48.5 percent). Miami shot just 35.1 percent, including 7 of 30 3-pointers (23.3 percent).
The Sixers were plus-nine on rebounds and plus-13 on fast-break points.
–Field Level Media
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