Heat Drop Game 3 at Home to Sixers

21 April 2018, 04:25 | Santos Harmon

Whenever he does return Joel Embiid will not be wearing this mask. More

Whenever he does return Joel Embiid will not be wearing this mask. More

When the Philadelphia 76ers lost Game 2 of the National Basketball Association (NBA) first-round play-off series against the Miami Heat on Monday, Joel Embiid took to Instagram to post a profane message.

The rotation shuffling might not have a big impact on the Sixers' fate this postseason, given that Simmons was on the bench for less than eight minutes of Game 3. The 76ers won an incredible 16 games in a row to end the regular season and dominated their series opener against the Heat by 27 points.

What was supposed to be a first-round feud between Joel Embiid and Hassan Whiteside has turned into a one-sided beatdown at the hands of Embiid.

By the end of the Sixers' 128-108 win, the masked man was the star of the night, finishing with 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three blocks to lead the way. He went up for a fadeaway shot, but was rejected by Embiid.

"(Bleeping) sick and exhausted of being babied", the centre, sidelined since March 28 due to a broken orbital bone and a concussion, said. "I'll spend some time working that out in the next day in a half". Ben Simmons had a terrific all-around game with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

Luckily Embiid doesn't have a secret identity to protect, so he won't have to order 10,000 of them at a time. He added seven rebounds and four assists.

Demoralized, Portland battled - flailed, really - but the Blazers couldn't make up any ground as the momentum continued for New Orleans. "That is classic Dwyane Wade".

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"It's clear that the first game and the third game were played on their terms", Spoelstra told reporters after the game.

On top of that, the second-year Croatian forward has so far shot 47.8 percent from 3-point territory in the Playoffs, en route to knocking down 11 triples.

With the Heat able to muster little of consistency beyond the 23 points of Dragic and 19 of Justise Winslow, the 76ers methodically utilized the depth of their roster to reclaim home-court advantage. Rather than being diplomatic during his postgame availability, knowing his team has to beat the Heat two more times to advance to the next round, Embiid let the trash talk fly in what will probably go down as his best postgame availability session of the season.

"It's definitely a different look when you have an all-star back in the lineup", Winslow admitted.

"It changes things, for sure", he said. His presence spells danger for the entire Eastern Conference.

The Sixers now own a 2-1 series lead entering Game 4 in Miami on Saturday night, and it appears the Heat will have to deal with a very motivated Embiid. Expect those trends to continue.

After a tough night from three-point range in the Game 2 loss, the Sixers regained their shooting touch, making 18 of their 34 attempts (52%) from behind the arc, including Embiid hitting 3 of his 4 shots from long-range.

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