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Embiid scores 23, 76ers top Heat 128-108 for 2-1 series lead

MIAMI (AP) Joel Embiid had trouble with his new mask.

It didn't slow him down.

Embiid's playoff debut was a smashing success for Philadelphia. The All-Star center returned from a 10-game absence by scoring 23 points, including a personal 7-0 run down the stretch that iced matters, and the 76ers reclaimed control of their Eastern Conference first-round series by topping the Miami Heat 128-108 on Thursday night.

The 76ers outscored the Heat 32-14 in the fourth quarter, and took a 2-1 lead in the series.

''I am just so proud of what he did,'' 76ers coach Brett Brown said.

Rightly so, too. Embiid started the day doubtful, ended it dominant, and had plenty of help as well. Marco Belinelli and Dario Saric each scored 21 for Philadelphia, and Ben Simmons finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

''It was annoying,'' Embiid said of getting used to the mask. ''But that was the only way I could play in this game, if I wore the mask and protected my face with goggles. I had to work through it and I did.''

Thursday began with the 76ers saying Embiid wasn't likely to play. His status was upgraded to probable in the afternoon and then he finally was inserted into the starting lineup - medical clearance coming from the team, mask clearance coming from the NBA after the league signed off on the dark, translucent, carbon-fiber, goggled apparatus that was made in consultation with independent experts.

The mask came off a couple times, the goggles were askew at times as well - Heat forward Justise Winslow even stomping on them once for good measure, a play that Brown chalked up to the intensity of playoff basketball - but in the end Embiid found a way.

''It's definitely a different look when you have an All-Star back in the lineup,'' Winslow said. ''It changes things, for sure.''

Goran Dragic scored 23 points for Miami, which got 19 from Winslow and 14 from Josh Richardson.

Game 4 is Saturday afternoon.

Embiid banked in a turnaround straightaway jumper - a fortuitous bounce - to put Philadelphia up nine late, then connected on a 3-pointer and added a pair of throws to start the spurt that put away the game.

Meanwhile, Miami couldn't find any sort of stride.

Hassan Whiteside was mired in foul trouble and ineffective, finishing the night all of 1 for 1 from the field for five points. Dwyane Wade, who Miami needed to be superb in the win at Philadelphia in Game 2, shot 2 for 10. Wayne Ellington, Miami's single-season leader in 3-pointers after making a record 227 this season, was 1 for 5 from the floor.

The Heat won Game 2 by controlling the physical battle.

Game 3 was another street fight, and Philadelphia didn't back down. Philly won Game 1 by dominating the second half, and Game 3 went a similar way. The 76ers outscored Miami 74-43 in the second half of Game 1, and 65-44 in the second half on Thursday.

''It's clear that the first game and the third game were played on their terms,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

TIP-INS

76ers: Philadelphia had a pair of shooters fouled beyond the 3-point line in the first quarter: Robert Covington made two of his three free throws, and Belinelli turned his chance into a four-point play. ... Embiid missed his first five shots, then put his finger to his lips in the universal ''shush'' sound to the crowd after getting his first one to fall.

Heat: Winslow's previous season high for scoring was 18. ... Wade, who carried Miami to the win at Philadelphia in Game 2, didn't get his first field goal in this one until 2:46 was left in the third. ... The Heat allowed Philadelphia to shoot 51 percent.

MANY WHISTLES

The teams combined for 56 personal fouls - Heat 30, 76ers 26. Each team also was whistled for three technicals.

IN MEMORIAM

The game was preceded by a moment of silence to remember the lives of Erin Popovich, the wife of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, and former first lady Barbara Bush. Brown is a former a Spurs assistant who has remained close with the Popovich family, and said Erin Popovich ''was a star, like a real star. A very strong woman, and somebody that will be missed.''

WELCOME BACK

Among those in the sold-out crowd were former Heat point guards Mario Chalmers and Jason Williams, the starters on Miami's three NBA championship teams. Both got warm ovations when shown on the videoboards around the arena.

UP NEXT

Game 4 is Saturday in Miami, a rare 2:30 p.m. start.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:45   JJ Redick missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:43   Defensive rebound by Goran Dragic  
11:34 +3 Tyler Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Johnson 0-3
11:18   Ben Simmons missed driving layup, blocked by Hassan Whiteside  
11:15   Offensive rebound by Dario Saric  
11:14   Dario Saric missed jump shot  
11:12   Defensive rebound by Goran Dragic  
11:11   Out of bounds turnover on Josh Richardson  
10:52 +2 JJ Redick made layup, assist by Robert Covington 2-3
10:26 +3 Tyler Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Johnson 2-6
10:10 +2 Dario Saric made layup, assist by Joel Embiid 4-6
9:57   Lost ball turnover on Josh Richardson, stolen by Robert Covington  
9:54   Shooting foul on James Johnson  
9:54 +1 Joel Embiid made 1st of 2 free throws 5-6
9:54 +1 Joel Embiid made 2nd of 2 free throws 6-6
9:38   James Johnson missed jump shot, blocked by Joel Embiid  
9:37   Defensive rebound by Ben Simmons  
9:31   Dario Saric missed layup  
9:28   Defensive rebound by James Johnson  
9:25   Traveling violation turnover on Josh Richardson  
9:08   JJ Redick missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:07   Defensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
8:58   Goran Dragic missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:55   Defensive rebound by Ben Simmons  
8:54   Personal foul on Josh Richardson  
8:36   Joel Embiid missed jump shot  
8:34   Offensive rebound by Dario Saric  
8:29 +2 Robert Covington made reverse layup, assist by Ben Simmons 8-6
8:22   Personal foul on Joel Embiid  
8:05   James Johnson missed layup  
8:04   Defensive rebound by Ben Simmons  
7:56   Shooting foul on Hassan Whiteside  
7:56 +1 Joel Embiid made 1st of 2 free throws 9-6
7:56 +1 Joel Embiid made 2nd of 2 free throws 10-6
7:44 +3 James Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Goran Dragic 10-9
7:34   Ben Simmons missed finger-roll layup  
7:33   Offensive rebound by Ben Simmons  
7:29   Ben Simmons missed dunk  
7:28   Defensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
7:16   Kicked ball violation  
7:05 +2 Tyler Johnson made jump shot, assist by Goran Dragic 10-11
6:46   Personal foul on Hassan Whiteside  
6:35   Shooting foul on Goran Dragic  
6:35   Team rebound  
6:35   Robert Covington missed 1st of 3 free throws  
6:35 +1 Robert Covington made 2nd of 3 free throws 11-11
6:35 +1 Robert Covington made 3rd of 3 free throws 12-11
6:32 +2 Goran Dragic made layup, assist by Kelly Olynyk 12-13
6:32   Shooting foul on Robert Covington  
6:32 +1 Goran Dragic made free throw 12-14
6:21   Dario Saric missed jump shot  
6:19   Defensive rebound by Kelly Olynyk  
6:16 +2 James Johnson made dunk, assist by Goran Dragic 12-16
6:03 +3 Robert Covington made 3-pt. jump shot 15-16
5:37   Goran Dragic missed driving layup  
5:34   Defensive rebound by Robert Covington  
5:25 +2 Marco Belinelli made jump shot, assist by Ben Simmons 17-16
5:07   Shooting foul on Dario Saric  
5:07 +1 Goran Dragic made 1st of 2 free throws 17-17
5:07 +1 Goran Dragic made 2nd of 2 free throws 17-18
4:57 +3 Marco Belinelli made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ben Simmons 20-18
4:57   Shooting foul on Tyler Johnson  
4:57 +1 Marco Belinelli made free throw 21-18
4:41   Wayne Ellington missed reverse layup  
4:38   Defensive rebound by Ben Simmons  
4:34   Ersan Ilyasova missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:31   Defensive rebound by Wayne Ellington  
4:15   Wayne Ellington missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:12   Defensive rebound by Marco Belinelli  
4:10 +3 JJ Redick made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ben Simmons 24-18
3:57   Personal foul on Amir Johnson  
3:39   Justise Winslow missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:38   Defensive rebound by Marco Belinelli  
3:19 +3 Marco Belinelli made 3-pt. jump shot 27-18
2:52 +3 Justise Winslow made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Dwyane Wade 27-21
2:40 +3 Ersan Ilyasova made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by JJ Redick 30-21
2:25   Bad pass turnover on Justise Winslow, stolen by Ben Simmons  
2:16 +2 Amir Johnson made hook shot, assist by JJ Redick 32-21
1:58   Shooting foul on Joel Embiid  
1:58 +1 Dwyane Wade made 1st of 2 free throws 32-22
1:58 +1 Dwyane Wade made 2nd of 2 free throws 32-23
1:41   JJ Redick missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:40   Defensive rebound by Justise Winslow  
1:37   Shooting foul on Markelle Fultz  
1:37 +1 Justise Winslow made 1st of 2 free throws 32-24
1:37 +1 Justise Winslow made 2nd of 2 free throws 32-25
1:37   Out of bounds turnover on Joel Embiid  
1:34   Kelly Olynyk missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:32   Defensive rebound by Markelle Fultz  
1:25   Joel Embiid missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:23   Defensive rebound by Justise Winslow  
1:20   Shooting foul on JJ Redick  
1:20 +1 Justise Winslow made 1st of 2 free throws 32-26
1:20 +1 Justise Winslow made 2nd of 2 free throws 32-27
1:03 +2 Ersan Ilyasova made layup, assist by Markelle Fultz 34-27
0:53 +3 Justise Winslow made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kelly Olynyk 34-30
0:42   Personal foul on Bam Adebayo  
0:42   Team rebound  
0:42   Joel Embiid missed 1st of 2 free throws  
0:42 +1 Joel Embiid made 2nd of 2 free throws 35-30
0:27 +3 Wayne Ellington made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Dwyane Wade 35-33
0:07 +2 Marco Belinelli made fade-away jump shot, assist by Joel Embiid 37-33
0:00   Dwyane Wade missed jump shot  
0:00   Team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:32   Justise Winslow missed fade-away jump shot  
11:31   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
11:20   Joel Embiid missed driving layup, blocked by Dwyane Wade  
11:19   Team rebound  
11:16   JJ Redick missed jump shot  
11:13   Defensive rebound by Justise Winslow  
11:04   Dwyane Wade missed fade-away jump shot  
11:01   Defensive rebound by Justin Anderson  
10:56   Personal foul on Bam Adebayo  
10:51   Kicked ball violation  
10:42   Justin Anderson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:41   Defensive rebound by Wayne Ellington  
10:26   Kelly Olynyk missed driving layup, blocked by Ersan Ilyasova  
10:26   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
10:26   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
10:26   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
10:05   Ersan Ilyasova missed jump shot  
10:04   Offensive rebound by Joel Embiid  
9:55   Joel Embiid missed jump shot  
9:54   Defensive rebound by Justise Winslow  
9:47   Shooting foul on Markelle Fultz  
9:47 +1 Justise Winslow made 1st of 2 free throws 37-34
9:47 +1 Justise Winslow made 2nd of 2 free throws 37-35
9:36 +3 Justin Anderson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ben Simmons 40-35
9:18   Shooting foul on Ersan Ilyasova  
9:18   Hassan Whiteside missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:18   Team rebound  
9:18 +1 Hassan Whiteside made 2nd of 2 free throws 40-36
9:00   Bad pass turnover on Ben Simmons, stolen by Dwyane Wade  
8:57   Shooting foul on Justin Anderson  
8:57 +1 Hassan Whiteside made 1st of 2 free throws 40-37
8:57 +1 Hassan Whiteside made 2nd of 2 free throws 40-38
8:45 +2 Ben Simmons made finger-roll layup 42-38
8:28   Wayne Ellington missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:27   Defensive rebound by Ben Simmons  
8:15   Shooting foul on Hassan Whiteside  
8:15   Joel Embiid missed 1st of 2 free throws  
8:15   Team rebound  
8:15 +1 Joel Embiid made 2nd of 2 free throws 43-38
7:58   Dwyane Wade missed fade-away jump shot  
7:57   Offensive rebound by Bam Adebayo  
7:51 +2 Bam Adebayo made dunk 43-40
7:33   JJ Redick missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:31   Defensive rebound by Dwyane Wade  
7:30   Bad pass turnover on Dwyane Wade, stolen by Robert Covington  
7:25   Bad pass turnover on Ben Simmons, stolen by Justise Winslow  
7:22 +2 Goran Dragic made layup, assist by Justise Winslow 43-42
7:22   Shooting foul on Robert Covington  
7:22 +1 Goran Dragic made free throw 43-43
7:10   Marco Belinelli missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:05   Defensive rebound by James Johnson  
7:01 +3 Justise Winslow made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Goran Dragic 43-46
6:55   Personal foul on Justise Winslow  
6:45 +3 Marco Belinelli made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Dario Saric 46-46
6:23   Out of bounds turnover on Dwyane Wade  
6:12   Personal foul on Goran Dragic  
5:58 +2 Ben Simmons made fade-away jump shot 48-46
5:42   Shooting foul on Ben Simmons  
5:42   James Johnson missed 1st of 2 free throws  
5:42   Team rebound  
5:42 +1 James Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 48-47
5:34   Shooting foul on James Johnson  
5:34 +1 Ben Simmons made 1st of 2 free throws 49-47
5:34 +1 Ben Simmons made 2nd of 2 free throws 50-47
5:20 +2 Goran Dragic made jump shot 50-49
5:08   Kicked ball violation  
4:56   Marco Belinelli missed fade-away jump shot  
4:54   Defensive rebound by Justise Winslow  
4:54   Personal foul on Dario Saric  
4:54   Team rebound  
4:54   Justise Winslow missed 1st of 2 free throws  
4:54 +1 Justise Winslow made 2nd of 2 free throws 50-50
4:35   Ben Simmons missed floating jump shot  
4:34   Defensive rebound by Justise Winslow  
4:30   Shooting foul on Robert Covington  
4:30 +1 Goran Dragic made 1st of 2 free throws 50-51
4:30 +1 Goran Dragic made 2nd of 2 free throws 50-52
4:22   Personal foul on Justise Winslow  
4:22   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
4:22   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
4:22 +1 Dario Saric made 1st of 2 free throws 51-52
4:22 +1 Dario Saric made 2nd of 2 free throws 52-52
4:06 +3 Justise Winslow made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Goran Dragic 52-55
3:57 +2 Dario Saric made turnaround jump shot 54-55
3:39   Josh Richardson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:37   Defensive rebound by Dario Saric  
3:30 +3 Dario Saric made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ben Simmons 57-55
3:05 +3 Kelly Olynyk made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Justise Winslow 57-58
2:53   Personal foul on Goran Dragic  
2:53 +1 Ben Simmons made 1st of 2 free throws 58-58
2:53   Ben Simmons missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
2:50   Defensive rebound by Bam Adebayo  
2:36   Shooting foul on Dario Saric  
2:36   Bam Adebayo missed 1st of 2 free throws  
2:36   Team rebound  
2:36   Bam Adebayo missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
2:33   Defensive rebound by Joel Embiid  
2:23   Marco Belinelli missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:22   Defensive rebound by Dwyane Wade  
1:58   Bam Adebayo missed alley-oop shot  
1:57   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
1:52   Joel Embiid missed alley-oop shot  
1:50   Defensive rebound by Bam Adebayo  
1:41 +3 Josh Richardson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kelly Olynyk 58-61
1:29 +3 Joel Embiid made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ben Simmons 61-61
0:59   Dwyane Wade missed fade-away jump shot  
0:57   Team rebound  
0:57   Personal foul on Ersan Ilyasova  
0:57 +1 Kelly Olynyk made 1st of 2 free throws 61-62
0:57   Kelly Olynyk missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
0:55   Defensive rebound by Joel Embiid  
0:38 +2 Joel Embiid made finger-roll layup 63-62
0:38   Shooting foul on Kelly Olynyk  
0:38   Joel Embiid missed free throw  
0:36   Defensive rebound by Bam Adebayo  
0:23   Bad pass turnover on Dwyane Wade, stolen by Joel Embiid  
0:16   Bad pass turnover on Joel Embiid, stolen by Josh Richardson  
0:02 +2 Bam Adebayo made jump shot, assist by Dwyane Wade 63-64
0:00   Ben Simmons missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   Team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:46 +3 Goran Dragic made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Johnson 63-67
11:30 +2 JJ Redick made jump shot, assist by Dario Saric 65-67
11:30   Shooting foul on Tyler Johnson  
11:30 +1 JJ Redick made free throw 66-67
11:05   Goran Dragic missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:04   Defensive rebound by Dario Saric  
10:59   Lost ball turnover on Joel Embiid, stolen by James Johnson  
10:56 +2 Goran Dragic made jump shot 66-69
10:55   Bad pass turnover on Ben Simmons, stolen by Goran Dragic  
10:41 +2 Tyler Johnson made jump shot, assist by Goran Dragic 66-71
10:29   Personal foul on Tyler Johnson  
10:17 +3 Dario Saric made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by JJ Redick 69-71
9:58 +2 Goran Dragic made jump shot 69-73
9:50   Personal foul on James Johnson  
9:36   Offensive foul on Robert Covington  
9:36   Offensive foul on Robert Covington  
9:14   James Johnson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:13   Defensive rebound by Joel Embiid  
9:06