The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Miami Heat 99-79 in Game 3 following Joel Embiid’s return to the series.
The Sixers now trail the Heat 2-1.
Playing 36 minutes, Embiid finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
“I was really trying to, you know, really get through it, and kinda just use my presence out there as a decoy,” said Embiid. “What I pride myself on is really defensively and I feel that’s where, you know, my presence is really felt on the defensive and so that’s really one of the main reasons why playing I thought I could have a huge impact.”
James Harden, who added 17 points and 6 assists, stressed the importance of Embiid’s return.
“It’s the playoffs. Joel knew how much we needed him, and he delivered. His dominance on both ends of the ball is very important to this team, it’s very valuable to this team,” said Harden.
In addition to his offense, Embiid held Bam Adebayo to 9 points and 3 rebounds in 33 minutes. Adebayo averaged 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds over the first two games in the series.
Embiid immediately turned his attention to Game 4.
“We can’t go down 3-1. So we really need this game on Sunday.”