The Philadelphia 76ers avoided falling into a 3-0 series hole on Friday night, defeating the Miami Heat, 99-79 in Game 3, bringing the best of seven series to 2-1 in favor of the Heat.
Center Joel Embiid returned to the lineup, giving the Sixers a much-needed boost. Embiid finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the Game 3 victory. The 2022 MVP candidate missed the first two games of the Miami series after suffering a mild concussion and orbital fracture in Game 6 of Philadelphia’s first-round series against the Toronto Raptors.
Also dealing with a torn ligament in his right thumb, Embiid was listed as ‘out’ ahead of Game 3. However, early on Friday, Embiid cleared concussion protocols and participated in shoot-around before being inserted into the starting lineup.
Forward Danny Green and guard Tyrese Maxey finished with 17 points apiece, shooting a combined 12-for-15 from three.
Point guard James Harden was 1-of-7 from 3-point range and shot only 36.4% from the field, but finished with 17 points, going 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Meanwhile, the Sixers held the Heat to just 35.1% shooting from the field and 23.3% from 3-point range.
Heat Forward Jimmy Butler led the team in scoring, finishing with 33 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Guard Tyler Herro was the only other Heat player to finish in double-figures, scoring 14 points while adding four rebounds and an assist in the loss.
The Sixers will attempt to even up the series at two games apiece on Sunday when they host the Heat for Game 4 at 8 p.m. EST.