Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Embiid shines in playoff debut, Blazers on the brink




Embiid shines in playoff debut, Blazers on the brink

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates after hitting a 3-pointer in the third quarter against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on Thursday in Miami, Florida. AFP
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates after hitting a 3-pointer in the third quarter against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on Thursday in Miami, Florida. AFP

Embiid shines in playoff debut, Blazers on the brink

Joel Embiid scored 23 points in his postseason debut as the Philadelphia 76ers crushed the Miami Heat 128-108 to grab a 2-1 lead in their first round playoff series.

Embiid, who wore a mask to protect a broken bone in his face, returned from a 10-game absence and helped seal the victory by scoring seven straight points for the Sixers down the stretch.

Dario Saric and Marco Belinelli combined to score 42 points, while Ben Simmons finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Philadelphia in front of a crowd of 19,800 at Miami’s American Airlines Arena.

“It was annoying,” Embiid said of the black carbon fibre 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.”

Game 4 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series is on Saturday in Miami.

Embiid wasn’t even supposed to play on Thursday. Many thought he would be out of the line-up longer due to the severity of the injury. He had to get a doctor’s clearance from the team and league approval for the mask and goggle combination that sometimes slipped off his face.

“I am just so proud of what he did,” said Philadelphia coach Brett Brown.

The 76ers won for the 18th time in their last 19 games and reclaimed home-court advantage in the series.

Goran Dragic scored 23 points, Justise Winslow had 19 and Josh Richardson scored 14 in the loss.

In New Orleans, Nikola Mirotic scored a career playoff-best 30 points as the Pelicans beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-102 to take a stranglehold 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.

“I never thought I’d score 30 or something like that,” Mirotic said. “I’m just trying to play simple. If I have a shot, take a shot, so I need to give credit to my teammates.”

Anthony Davis had 28 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans, who are hoping to reach the second round of the postseason for the first time since 2008.

They can achieve that goal with a win in Game 4 on Saturday.

Mirotic, acquired in a midseason trade after DeMarcus Cousins’s season-ending injury, made 12 of 15 shots. He drained 3-pointers, finished off fast-break layups and made clutch dunks.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 20 points but also missed nine of 14 shots. CJ McCollum scored 22 and Al-Farouq Aminu added 21 in the loss.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could