The Phantom of the Process was a last minute addition to the 76ers lineup ahead of game 3. Joel Embiid cleared concussion protocols Friday morning and was cleared to play an hour before tip. Embiid has missed the first two games of the Miami Heat series after being elbowed in the face by Toronto's Pascal Siakiam in the previous series.
Joel Embiid's return to the lineup helped spark a 99-79 victory over the Miami Heat. With the win the Sixers avoided going down 3-0 to the Heat who own the best record in the Eastern Conference.
How did it happen?
Tyrese Maxey was held without a field goal in the 1st half. The second half was a different story. Maxey went off and finished with 21 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals. In classic Maxey fashion, he was all over the court and was was a major influence on both ends of the court
Danny Green also finished with 21 points. He was 7-9 from behind the arc. I promise you read that correctly. Green has struggled from 3 all playoff longs, but tonight he was playing like Steph Curry. Harden had 15 first half points, but 2nd half foul trouble saw him on the bench for a majority of the half and him finish with 17 points.
Joel Embiid's offensive spark was missing all game. He finished 18 points and 11 rebounds. However, after missing the last two games, it was expected he may come out a little flat. However, the overall spark to the Sixers was back with Embiid on the court. Many times we saw Embiid getting triple teamed and that would allow Harden and Green to get the open looks.
The SIxers entered the 2nd half with a commanding 9 point lead. However, the offense was flat returning from the half, and Jimmy Butler was not missing. At one point the game was tired, but the emergence of Maxey happened. The 4th quarter was all Philly. The SIxers were outscored 31-27 in the 3rd, but outscored Miami 31-14 in the 4th.
Jimmy Butler had a James Butler kind of game. He finished with 33 points and 9 rebounds. Tyler Herro had 14 to off the bench. Besides Butler and Herro, no other Heat player scored in double digits. Kyle Lowry returned after missing the last 4 games. He returned with a 0 point, 3 assists, and 4 rebound game. Bam Adebayo had a field day in game 1 and 2. He averaged 20+ in games 1 and 2. However, he learned quickly that playing against DeAndre Jordan and Joel Embiid are two different things.