The CourtSide View: The Phantom of Embiid Invades Miami and helps the 76ers to a Game 3 Victory over the Heat
By Eric Jacinto
Last night, was the return of Joel "The Process" Embiid who missed the last ten games of the regular season and the first two games of this series came back for game three. For the last two days, nobody knew if he would play, he didn't even know, he was even doubtful yesterday morning. Embiid, suffered a fractured orbital bone in his left eye after he bumped heads with fellow teammate and rookie Markelle Fultz on March 28 versus the New York Knicks. He had surgery to repair the orbital bone fracture.
The 76ers, played much better than they did in game two on Monday night shooting nearly 53% (18/34) from three-point land and 50.6% overall from the field, they also shot 75% from the free throw line. The Heat, shot fairly well from three-point land themselves shooting 48.5% (16/33) and 45.2% overall from the field. There was 17 lead changes, the Sixers lead by four at the end of the first quarter (37-33), the Heat lead by one at halftime (65-64), the Sixers lead 98-94 going into the fourth. In the fourth, the Sixers outscored the Heat 32-14 which lead to a 20 point game three victory, 128-108.
Even through, Joel Embiid missed 10 games in total, he had a major impact in the win. Embiid lead the Sixers in scoring as he scored 23 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished out 4 assists and blocked 4 shots in 30 minutes. He started off a bit slow but he made his presents felt in the second half that's for sure. Embiid wasn't the only player that had an major impact, his partner in crime, Ben Simmons nearly recorded another triple-double. Simmons scored 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 7 assists; three shy of his first playoff triple-double of his career. The duo of Dario Saric and Marco Belinelli, added 21 points each hitting several key three pointers each down the stretch. Justin Anderson only played nine minutes but he played hard and at point go in the face of Dwyane Wade after Wade pulled him to the ground; both players got technical fouls. Wade didn't make much of an impact like he did in game two besides being a punk and I like Wade but he was a total punk for pulling Anderson to the ground. He only scored 8 points in 25 minutes played. Goran Dragic lead the Heat in scoring with 23 points, he also had 8 assists.
Finally, game four is Saturday at 2:30 pm ET and game five is Tuesday TBA. Will the 76ers put the Heat on the brink of elimination or will the Heat tie the series up at two which guarantees another game in Miami next Thursday night. There's no question that Joel Embiid is the game changing X-Factor in this series and how will it play out the rest of this series and hopefully going forward in the playoffs.