Joel Embiid was said to be doubtful for the Philadelphia 76ers as they took on the Miami Heat in a virtual must-win Game 3 on Friday night. Perhaps there was a bit of exaggeration there. Perhaps there was not. Either way, the presence of the center was plenty to comfortably buoy them past their visitors 99-79. Embiid, wearing a mask and all having cleared the concussion protocol, was able to post a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
It also helped that four of the five Sixers starters had 17 points or more, and that proved to be the difference as the Heat failed to get hot, shooting a dismal 35% from the floor. Elsewhere, the Dallas Mavericks also got back in their series with the Phoenix Suns, winning 103-94 to give themselves a chance in the series. Luka Doncic had been brilliant in Games 1 and 2, but he couldn’t do it all alone, and he got the help he needed as Jalen Brunson posted 28 while three others had at least 14 to chip in. Doncic, of course, was his usual productive self, coming up one assist shy of a triple-double by coming up with 26 points and 13 rebounds. The Suns had all five starters in double digits, but it didn’t prove to be enough to win on the road on this particular night.