Masked Embiid scores for 76ers

Joel Embiid

Embiid scored a team-high 23 points for the Sixers.

Whiteside is averaging just 3.7 points and four rebounds in 13 minutes a game, compared to a strong regular season in which he was an integral part of the offense in the paint, averaging 14 points and 11.4 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per contest.

Embiid played the game in a protective mask due to his orbital bone fracture.

The 76ers and Heat have hit peak pettiness in their first-round playoff series.

76ers coach Brett Brown is a former a Spurs assistant who has remained close with the Popovich family, and said Erin Popovich "was a star, like a real star". "After that second game, I was told I wasn't going to play". Though many thought the protective mask Embiid was wearing was just going to slow him down, he chose to trust the process which made his return a frightful one.

The protective lens popped loose, meaning Embiid would need to check out to get it repaired ... and, while it was on the deck, Miami's Justise Winslow made a decision to take a crack at cracking JoJo's Rec Specs. "For him to come back under those terms and produce, I am very proud of him". "I've just been focusing on being able to step up and make free throws for my team, because I know I'm going to the line a lot". "I love this moment, I love being physical, I love contact, so I felt like they needed me in that way". But in the aftermath of his Game Three rampage, it's the Miami Heat who can't clearly see a path to the second round.

Joel Embiid experienced a successful postseason debut against the Miami Heat.

Embiid acknowledged that the mask bothered him at times Thursday night.

Jo, a couple days ago you put one Instagram post, where you had you guys playing against this team, the Heat, then it was playing against Boston, the Cavs, then there was one against the Warriors. He made five of his last six attempts from the floor after missing his first five shots. "I don't really get caught up in that". And my goodness, did we get some physical play and trash talk between these two teams. Coach wants me to just be in a corner and set picks. "I've just got to trust it".

Embiid ultimately got his revenge on Winslow later in the game.

"It's definitely a different look when you have an All-Star back in the lineup", Winslow said.

"It changes things, for sure", he said.

The Heat started out the game up 4-0, before the Sixers mounted a comeback behind Marco Belinelli and Robert Covington. In the third quarter, it was more of the same as Philadelphia took the lead back.

"We were ready", Saric said of the Sixers' Game 3 mindset, after they lost Game 2. This time around, they were 18-for-34 (52.9 percent) from downtown. All in all, a 15-3 spurt from the Sixers gave them a 32-21 lead with just over two minutes to go.

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