Philadelphia, with its "
" Joel Embiid, back despite his orbital fracture, reduced the score to 2-1 against Miami, as did Dallas and Luka Doncic against Phoenix on Friday in the playoff conference semifinals. NBA offs.
NBA: schedule and results
Sixers and Mavericks were already almost back to the wall and a win was in order.
No team that trailed 3-0 in a series of play-offs has subsequently managed to win it by winning the next four matches.
So avoid this scenario.
Philly revived without shaking (99-79).
Released from concussion protocol a few hours before this crucial third match, Embiid returned to the court, wearing black facial protection, for his right eye socket fractured by an elbow from his compatriot Pascal Siakam, during of match N.6 of the 1st round won in Toronto.
The finalist for the MVP trophy has not always been at the party, obviously embarrassed by this mask which he lifted every time he could to absorb his sweat and not spared by the Miami defense.
But his 18 points (at 5/12) and his 11 rebounds weighed, his presence densified the interior sector of the 76ers and bothered Bam Adebayo (9 pts, 3 rebounds).
Butler alone to float
I tried to push as much as I could.
I wasn't really good tonight.
If you look at what I was able to do during the regular season, I was far from it.
So hopefully it will get better
,” commented Embiid, who already had to play with a mask in 2018 following a previous facial fracture.
The pivot having been at the heart of the Heat's attention, his teammates gained freedom of action, Tyrese Maxey and Danny Green, dexterous behind the arc as we had not seen for a while (7/9) , took advantage, with 21 points each.
James Harden, a long-distance harvester (1/8), was nevertheless active and much more useful in orchestrating the game (17 pts, 6 assists, 8 rebounds).
On the Heat side, Jimmy Butler was the only one to float (33 pts, 9 rebounds), almost single-handedly managing to bring his people back up to the Sixers in the 3rd quarter, after lamenting 14 points behind.
But he did not have the second wind necessary to make Miami exist in the last twelve minutes (31-14), Kyle Lowry, recovered from a left hamstring injury, missing his return (0 pt, 4 rbds, 3 assists) and Tyler Herro proving too intermittent (14 pts, at 5/15).
In the West, the Mavs also had the expected reaction of pride (103-91) against the Suns.
And this time, they muzzled the master of the fourth quarter, Chris Paul who scored only 5 points during this period (12 in total, 4 assists), on his 37th birthday.
Luka Doncic was predominant in the Texan success, bordering on the triple-double (26 pts, 13, rbds, 9 assists).
Too alone or even too soloist, during the two setbacks conceded in Arizona, the Slovenian was well surrounded this time, since Jalen Brunson, revelation of the Mavs this season, finished top scorer (28 pts).
And the whole team responded when more than seven minutes from time, he took his fifth foul, required to go on the bench for a few minutes at the worst time, because a 6th would have been synonymous with exclusion.
Without him his teammates managed to maintain the thickness of their mattress of 15 units at the start of the last quarter.
Everyone defended really well.
If we play like that every game, we have a chance.
Phoenix is an incredible team, the best in the regular season.
It will always be difficult to beat them, but we did our job today
”, welcomed “
On the Suns side, Jae Crawder (19 pts) stood out, but Devin Booker was a tone below (18 pts).
And without being particularly overwhelmed, they ended up giving in to the aggressiveness of Dallas.