Whiteside Calls Out Coach Spoelstra after Game 3 Loss
Apr 21 2018
Yes, Embiid has only played one game, but Whiteside so far has been close to non-existent for the Heat, who trail the 76ers 2-1 in the series.
The Sixers took a 2-point lead into the fourth quarter before putting Miami away on its home floor down the stretch. In his first game back after nearly a month of missed action, Embiid led the team in scoring with 23 points.
Embiid was listed as doubtful for Game 3 on Thursday morning and was upgraded to probable two hours before tipoff.
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.
In their brief stint without Joel Embiid to end the season, the Philadelphia 76ers were a good team. He had five points and two rebounds in only 13 minutes of play.
A back-and-forth game burst into a double-digit lead for Philly in the fourth quarter, as the pass-happy Sixers made things tough on Miami as they found open shooters all over the floor while Embiid attacked the paint going to the foul line 15 times.
Among those in the sold-out crowd were former Heat point guards Mario Chalmers and Jason Williams, the starters on Miami's three National Basketball Association championship teams.
Masked (and goggled) up and ready for action after nearly a month away from the game, the Sixers emotional leader turned in a performance that was vintage Embiid and reminded fans, and foes across the league just how scary this team can be when at full strength.
It was a high-intensity game, as six different players were awarded technical fouls. Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first-round series was hard on many levels for Miami's center.
Game 3 was another street fight, and Philadelphia didn't back down. And my goodness, did we get some physical play and trash talk between these two teams.
Embiid said he was cleared to play after a conversation with the team medical staff and surgeons. "Not only was he injured, but he had to play in a playoff game on the road in a mask".
The 76ers had Embiid back in their starting lineup, with Ersan Ilyasova back with the second unit.
Embiid had to go to the bench and wait a few minutes to have the mask and goggles fixed before returning to the court.
Philadelphia started the night with a big 128-108 win over the Heat and it came with the help of a reinforcement.
Kevin McHale and the TNT broadcast were talking about Brett Brown and how the coach noted that Embiid makes the Sixers a "complete" team.
"I am just so proud of what he did", said Brown. "When he blocked me, I didn't really see him".
"I want to get more minutes out there", Whiteside said. The 76ers outscored Miami 74-43 in the second half of Game 1, and 65-44 in the second half on Thursday.