Embiid return inspires 76ers to Game 3 win
The Sixers defeated the Heat 99-79 in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series on Friday at Wells Fargo Center to reduce Miami’s series lead to 2-1.
It was a defensive showcase by the Philadelphia 76ers in their 99-79 home win in Game 3 of their series against the Miami Heat. With their season essentially on the line – as no NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit – the 76ers were energised on the defensive end with the return of star Joel Embiid, who was wearing a protective mask to protect his fractured orbital bone. It was the first time since January 2018 that the 76ers have held an opposing team under 80 points, when they beat the San Antonio Spurs 97-78.
In an incredibly low-scoring first half, the 76ers reached half-time with a 41-34 lead as James Harden carried the early offensive load, before cooling off in the second half to finish on 17 points (four-of-11 shooting) with eight rebounds and six assists. Embiid was solid in his return, commanding plenty of defensive attention to open up lanes for his teammates and putting in 18 points (five-of-12 shooting, eight-of-10 free throws) with 11 rebounds.
The real star of the show for the home side was Danny Green, who hit seven of his first eight three-point attempts for his joint team-high 21 points, sharing that figure with Tyrese Maxey, who had all of his 21 points in the second half.