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NBA playoffs live: Pelicans cruising; Spurs unresolved with Warriors; 76ers lift divided late

The initial spin of a NBA playoffs continues currently with 3 pivotal Game 3s. Follow along here for a latest research and explanation from The Post’s NBA contributor Tim Bontemps, and ask him questions in a comments section. Catch adult on final night’s games here.

Schedule and formula | Pregame reading | Comments territory QA

No repairs to Embiid’s mouth

Joel Embiid competence have had a facial fracture, yet his mouth is operative usually fine.

After a clever lapse to a justice in Philadelphia’s 128-108 attainment in Game 3 over a Miami Heat – scoring 23 points to go with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks in 30 mins – a Sixers’ star vast male had a few things to say.

Among them:

The bad blood between a dual teams is evident, though, and came out in a back-and-forth that went on between Embiid and Justise Winslow via a game. In one sequence, Embiid and Winslow took turns restraint a other’s shot – and talking about it – in a second half.

But a animus began in a initial half, when Winslow stepped on Embiid’s visor that went over a eye holes of his protecting mask. Winslow afterwards picked it adult and seemed to try to mangle it.

Here’s what Embiid had to contend about it:

And here’s Winslow’s counter:

Hopefully Miami wins Game 4 of this series, usually to safeguard it goes during slightest six. What neutral spectator wants any of this to end?

It looks like a Portland Trail Blazers are cooked

A entirely widespread opening by a New Orleans Pelicans, who won a initial dual games of this array in Portland, has them up 93-72 early in a fourth entertain of Game 3 behind in a Big Easy.

Nikola Mirotic is now adult to 30 points, while Anthony Davis has 20 and Jrue Holiday has 16. Damian Lillard, meanwhile, is usually 5-for-13 and has 7 turnovers in what has been another miserable opening in a array full of them.

The diversion can be summed adult by this Anthony Davis tip-dunk.

A widespread opening by a Pelicans, and a baffling one for a Trail Blazers.

Keep an eye on Warriors’ turnovers

Here’s a stat to watch in Game 3 of Warriors-Spurs: Golden State’s turnovers.

The Warriors incited a spin over on a game’s opening possession, ensuing in a bucket for San Antonio. Since then? None. That’s a vast reason given Golden State leads early in a second quarter.

The problem for San Antonio in this array from a commencement is that San Antonio simply can’t measure adequate to keep adult with Golden State, even yet Curry. One approach a Spurs can score, though, is if a Warriors give them easy opportunities by giving a spin away.

If Golden State doesn’t spin a spin over, it will win this game. Period.

Fourth-quarter fusillade by Sixers extinguishes Heat

Ben Simmons with a exclamation point, and this one is over. The Sixers are adult 2-1 in a array streamer into Game 4 Saturday afternoon, with a 128-108 win.

The 76ers got Joel Embiid back, and his lapse helped them take behind control of a series. Embiid led a Sixers with 23 points to go with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks, Dario Saric had 21 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists and Ben Simmons had 19 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals to lead Philadelphia.

The diversion was tighten until a fourth quarter, yet a immature Sixers sealed a diversion out with a 32-14 advantage in a fourth entertain to sign a victory, giving them a possibility to go home with a 3-1 array lead if they can get another attainment Saturday afternoon.

While Embiid’s offense was a work in swell notwithstanding a stat line, his defensive impact can’t be understated. His participation alone helped keep Miami from even removing to a paint, incited a Heat into a burst sharpened team.

Miami done them by 3 quarters, yet a fitness ran out in a fourth. That’s when Philadelphia took over, and took behind home justice in a process.

Trail Blazers in trouble

Playing in front of a severe home crowd, a New Orleans Pelicans have carried over their clever play from a opening dual games of their array in Portland to take a 64-45 halftime lead, putting Portland one half divided from being down 3-0 in a series.

Anthony Davis recovered from a brief shock with a left wrist emanate in a initial half to lapse to a game, and has 12 points, 8 rebounds, dual steals and a retard early on, and Jrue Holiday – who has been a story of a array so distant – has 12 points and 4 assists.

The story of this sold game, though, has been Nikola Mirotic, who has 21 points on 8-for-10 sharpened to go with 6 rebounds, dual asissts, dual steals and a block. His play in this array has been value a initial spin collect New Orleans gave adult to get him alone.

Damian Lillard is 3-for-10, blank all 3 of his shots in a second quarter, and has 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. C.J. McCollum had a prohibited second quarter, and has 14 points overall, yet both players need to be improved for Portland to have any kind of a possibility of creation this a game.

Spurs start prohibited yet a Warriors fast counter

The San Antonio Spurs got off to a predictably prohibited start, scoring a opening 6 points of Game 3 opposite a Golden State Warriors.

That would’ve been a box normally, given a Spurs are down 2-0 in a array and fighting for their lives. But with a detriment of Gregg Popovich home with his family in a arise of his wife, Erin, flitting divided Wednesday afternoon, it would’ve been overwhelming if San Antonio didn’t start a diversion with a lot of energy.

That said, Golden State immediately rattled off a 10-4 run to tie a game. If a Warriors play a approach they are ostensible to, they should win this game, and Game 4, as well. Even yet Stephen Curry, who stays sidelined with a sprained MCL, they have distant some-more talent than a depleted Spurs, generally with Kawhi Leonard out for a residue of a playoffs with his slow quad injury.

It will take Golden State slipping, and San Antonio personification desirous ball, to make this a series.

Embiid has 76ers in position to win

In Joel Embiid’s initial playoff game, he put a dagger in a Miami Heat.

The multiple of a banked in jumper from a giveaway chuck line, a wing three-pointer as a shot time wound down and afterwards a span of giveaway throws extended Philadelphia’s lead to 119-105 with 3:32 to go in Game 3, putting a Sixers in position to retrieve a lead in this series.

Embiid has been hilly offensively in this game, yet a clever second half has him with 22 points – including 9-for-14 from a tainted line – while his participation in a paint has singular Miami’s ability to even get nearby a rim, let alone score.

Pelicans on Davis watch after initial quarter

The New Orleans Pelicans have an early lead during home over a Portland Trail Blazers, yet there is early regard about a left hand/wrist of luminary brazen Anthony Davis after he banged it early on.

Davis went to a locker room to get his wrist looked at, and if he’s singular during all it could dawn vast in both this diversion and a series.

Still, New Orleans looks superb early in this one, heading 36-20 and stability a trend that’s lasted 9 buliding now. Nikola Mirotic had 14 initial entertain points and was a usually actor for possibly group to strech double-figures, while Jrue Holiday has 7 points in another prohibited start. Both he and Mirotic played a whole entertain for New Orleans.

Portland, meanwhile, is usually 4-for-13 from three, yet Damian Lillard is off to a decent start after subpar games by his standards in a initial dual games in Portland.

McConnell, not Fultz, gets pivotal second half minutes

It was critical to see T.J. McConnell – and not Markelle Fultz – checking in for Ben Simmons during a finish of a third quarter.

Fultz had a severe army in a initial half, with a minus-9 in 4 mins and committing a integrate of fouls. So with a diversion in a balance, Sixers Coach Brett Brown went with his maestro instead.

McConnell immediately done an impact, attack a integrate shots and removing a take to assistance Philadelphia take a 96-94 lead.

Both teams are attack a ton of shots, yet it feels like Miami’s are some-more unsustainable. The Heat are 23-for-43 on shots outward a limited area entering a fourth, expected tough for them to keep adult for another 12 minutes.

The advantage here should be for Philadelphia, even yet a Sixers are on a road. Should be a fun final 12 minutes.

Harkless earnings to starting lineup in contingency win for Trail Blazers

Down 2-0 in their best-of-seven series, a Portland Trail Blazers are going behind to a lineup that helped acquire them a third seed in a West.

Maurice Harkless, in his second diversion behind from knee surgery, will lapse to a starting lineup during tiny brazen for Game 3 Thursday night in New Orleans, as a Trail Blazers try to save their season. It’s expected Harkless would have left into a starting lineup regardless, yet Evan Turner being out with an damage paved a approach for him to come back.

Harkless was effective in Game 2, going 5-for-5 and scoring 11 points in 27 mins off a bench, and was plus-10 on a night — by distant a best of any Portland player. The Trail Blazers will be anticipating that carries over to a diversion they desperately have to have if they wish a possibility of creation this a series.

Dragic take control for Miami

It seems no one on a Miami Heat can miss, but nothing of them are personification improved than Goran Dragic.

Miami’s indicate ensure has been marvellous in this game, scoring 23 points on 8-for-11 sharpened to go with 7 assists and no turnovers, gripping a Heat forward in an entertaining, back-and-forth  third quarter.

With a total 40 fouls being called so distant (19 on Philadelphia, 21 on Miami) and 3 sets of double-technicals, this diversion has had a tiny bit of everything. All of Miami’s starters have during slightest 3 fouls (Hassan Whiteside has four), also something to watch.

Heat’s attainment is a long-range shooting

In what a extravagantly interesting Heat-Sixers Game 3, Miami is winning given it’s on glow from three-point range.

The Heat are an absurd 11-for-19 from low so distant – and would’ve been 12-for-20 if Josh Richardson hadn’t stepped on a out of end line while holding a 3 in a opening moments of a game.

Miami doesn’t have a lot of shooters, yet so distant Justise Winslow, who isn’t one, is heading a Heat by going 4-for-5 from three.

Can a Heat keep this up? The answer could establish a outcome of this game.

Winslow is carrying a diversion of his life

It’s been a hilly initial 3 seasons in a NBA for Justise Winslow, who struggled with his sharpened as a rookie, afterwards missed many of final deteriorate given of shoulder surgery.

But after being a plain haven for a Heat this season, Winslow has exploded for 19 initial half points for Miami, pulling a spin regularly in transition and knocking down 4 of his 5 attempts from three. The Heat lead, 64-63, during halftime, in no tiny partial interjection to Winslow.

He will expected get some-more attention, though, for stepping on, and afterwards perplexing to slice apart, Joel Embiid’s goggles from his custom-made facade after they were damaged off during a second quarter.

Simmons continues to perform magic

Ben Simmons is 6-foot-10. This simply is not fair.

Simmons is a plus-11, has 6 rebounds and 5 assists in 14 mins – all while sharpened 2-for-5.

That’s not a bad shot to have as one of your usually makes, though.

Embiid, Sixers perplexing to get behind in sync

Joel Embiid has done his return. Naturally, given this is both his first-ever playoff diversion and initial diversion of any kind in 3 weeks, it’s been rocky.

Philadelphia hold a slim 37-33 lead after one, yet that was built in a few mins Embiid spent on a bench, when a 76ers outscored a Heat 23-11.

With Embiid on a court, it was 22-14 Heat.

So what was a issue? Well, Philadelphia has grown accustomed to a really specific character yet Embiid: spacing a building with 4 shooters around possibly Ben Simmons or Markelle Fultz and drifting up-and-down a court.

Embiid needs to play during a tiny slower gait and is going to need a ball. It’s will take some time for he and his teammates to get behind in sync offensively. Defensively, however, Embiid immediately done an impact.

Embiid also looked like he was struggling to understanding with his mask. When sharpened giveaway throws, on that he went 5-for-6, he would take a facade off. And, during a march of play, he could be seen fiddling with it.

Embiid’s facade unveiled

When a Philadelphia 76ers announced Joel Embiid would be behind for Game 3, one doubt remained: what would his facade demeanour like?

Well, here it is:

Not usually did ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne yield a picture, she also summed adult a technological innovations that went into creation it happen:

The reason for all of a additional work to get Embiid’s facade usually right? This is a second time he’s suffered a facial injury, a first coming in his sole deteriorate during Kansas behind in 2013-14. Naturally that had doctors endangered about a intensity of a third injury, hence a additional protection.

Now we get to see Embiid not usually make his playoff debute, yet go adult opposite Hassan Whiteside – a actor he’s plainly feuded with in a past.

Needless to say, this will be fun.

Embiid is back

Joel Embiid watched from a bench Monday night as his Philadelphia 76ers mislaid for a initial time in weeks. Immediately after a Game 2 loss, he took to Instagram and done it transparent how he felt about being forced to lay out during a initial dual games of his team’s first-round array opposite a Miami Heat with a fractured orbital bone around his left eye.

“[Expletive] ill and sleepy of being babied,” Embiid wrote.

Then, he spoke to ESPN about it, and said, “I betrothed a city a playoffs and I’m not on a court, and we competence not be on Thursday [for Game 3], either.

“I wish some-more than anything that we was out there. we usually wish a immature light to play.”

Now he’ll get it.

After inventory Embiid as puzzled both Wednesday and early Thursday, a Sixers upgraded their star core to illusive dual hours before Game 3, creation it expected he’ll make his playoff entrance in Thursday night during American Airlines Arena in Miami. It appears inventory him as puzzled was a kind of standard gamesmanship teams rivet in during a postseason.

Sixers Coach Brett Brown pronounced before Thursday’s diversion that Embiid would not be on a mins extent in his initial diversion behind given pang a damage during home Mar 28 opposite a New York Knicks. There still stays some amour about usually what Embiid’s facade will demeanour like, though. He’s been wearing a black mask, yet a NBA has criminialized those previously.

Philadelphia has been one of a NBA’s hottest teams, winning 17 games in a quarrel before losing in Game 2, and has won 9 of those games — including violence a Cleveland Cavaliers during home progressing this month — with Embiid sitting out. That partial of a strain has been the latest considerable aspect of a Sixers’ fast growth this season, giving them postponement about putting Embiid behind out there before he’s totally prepared to play.

While players can wear a facade with such an injury — and Embiid has been propitious with one — it is unsure for someone like Embiid, who plays in a paint, to come behind too shortly and risk throwing an bend or shoulder a wrong way, like when teammate Markelle Fultz ran into him in a initial place.

But a Sixers have been discreet with his health during each turn. Now we’ll see how a “Phantom of The Process,” as he’s now job himself, will demeanour in his return.

Embiid’s lapse is also certain to have an impact on a series, with both teams forced to adjust to his presence.

Philadelphia has grown accustomed to personification a really opposite character yet their large center, and there will be a widen where Embiid both shakes a decay off and a Sixers get used to carrying him back.

It’s a good problem to have, one with that all 16 playoff teams would be fine. But it still is something Philadelphia will have to work through.

There also exists a intensity for Hassan Whiteside to indeed have a purpose in a array for Miami with Embiid back. Whiteside has mostly been ineffectual opposite a small, floor-spacing Sixers by a initial dual games of this series.

Like a stylistic changes, it’s another thing to compensate courtesy to as Embiid creates his return.

Wednesday’s schedule

  • Philadelphia 76ers 128, Miami Heat 108
  • Portland Trail Blazers during New Orleans Pelicans, 9 p.m. (NBA TV)
  • Golden State Warriors during San Antonio Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)

Pregame reading

For a Spurs, a many critical diversion left this deteriorate is a Kawhi Leonard standoff

The Wizards competence be too chill for their possess good

The Wizards’ toughest opponent? The fourth quarter.

The Draymond Green extreme tainted tracker is underway

NBA Podcast: Anthony Slater on a Warriors, Kawhi Leonard and a Western Conference playoffs

Victor Oladipo says Cavs owners combined ‘fuel to a fire’ with appropriate during Paul George trade

The Wizards and Raptors were once peers in development. Now they aren’t even close.

How Quin Snyder set aside a damaged NCAA career to turn an NBA manager of a year candidate

Their dual biggest stars mislaid to injury, a Celtics still have one hulk advantage: Their coach

Dirk Nowitzki isn’t partial of these NBA playoffs, yet Dirk clones are everywhere

‘My crony was shot’: How an assassin’s bullets in Israel altered an NBA team’s name in D.C.

Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell can’t determine on who is rookie of a year and it’s flattering funny

Comment QA

Hop into a comments territory next to discuss with The Post’s Tim Bontemps about all of your NBA questions.

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2018/04/19/nba-playoffs-live-updates-thursdays-first-round-games/