Sport Without Embiid, 76ers roll past Heat in playoff opener

06:20  15 april  2018
06:20  15 april  2018 Source:   ap.org

WATCH: Joel Embiid conducts interview in black mask

  WATCH: Joel Embiid conducts interview in black mask Joel Embiid is getting himself used to wearing a mask. The Philadelphia 76ers star was seen wearing a black mask before the team’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. He then conducted an interview with the media while wearing the mask.

READ: Embiid , 76 ers power past Bucks 116-94 and into 6th in East. The Bucks played without All-Star guard-forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (sore right knee) for the third time this season as well as forward Malcolm Brogdon (personal reasons). Hornets blow out playoff -bound Pacers.

2018 NBA Playoffs . In his first game of 2017-18, Joel Embiid was solid for the Sixers. The buzz around Philadelphia several days before the 76 ers ' season- opener against the Washington Wizards last night centered on Joel Embiid and a clock.

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid comes out in a © The Associated Press Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid comes out in a "Phantom of the Opera" mask as he rings a Liberty Bell replica before Game 1 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

PHILADELPHIA — Ben Simmons had 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in his playoff debut, and the Philadelphia 76ers romped again without Joel Embiid, beating the Miami Heat 130-103 on Saturday night for their 17th straight win.

Embiid was a spectator in Game 1 of the first-round series because of a broken orbital bone around his left eye. The All-Star center has been hopeful he can return early in the series. The Sixers could end this one early with Embiid back in the lineup.

Allen Iverson: Why I Trusted The Process With Joel Embiid From Day One

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Embiid made his first All-Star team this season and leads the 76 ers in points (23.2) and rebounds (11.1) per game. Boy plays hooky for Cubs' home opener , runs into principal at Wrigley Field. yahoo. MLB wrap: Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton power Yankees past Red Sox in heated game.

BOX SCORE: 76ERS 130, HEAT 103

Simmons dished and dazzled in the paint and the Heat had no answer for Sixers reserves Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. Belinelli and Ilyasova combined to hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter that helped shift the tone from physical and foul-filled to a long-distance game that allowed the Sixers to put away this one. They used a 15-0 run in the third in their first postseason game in five seasons under coach Brett Brown to get the rout rolling.

Brown won 47 games his first three seasons as the Sixers underwent the Process — and 52, plus Game 1 this season.

JJ Redick scored 28 points to lead the Sixers, who host Game 2 on Monday. Belinelli had 25 and Ilyasova 17.

Embiid ditched the black mask he's been wearing in light shooting drills for a white "Phantom of the Opera" mask to ring the ceremonial Liberty Bell before tipoff.

Embiid clears concussion protocol, won't play Game 2

  Embiid clears concussion protocol, won't play Game 2 The Philadelphia 76ers didn’t need Joel Embiid in their Game 1 blowout of the Miami Heat. And while they won’t have him for Game 2 either, he’s this close to coming back. In fact, he has cleared concussion protocol. “Joel Embiid (orbital bone fracture, left eye) is out for tomorrow night’s game vs. Miami. Has cleared NBA’s concussion protocol. Further updates will be provided as appropriate.”The Sixers, of course, would defeat Miami comprehensively in Game 1 (130-103). And they are now on a 17-game winning streak, with nine of them coming without Embiid on the court.

vs Heat . 76 ers roll to victory over Hawks (1:20). 76 ers ' Brown: Embiid 's status TBD after surgery. Stephen A. isn't 'concerned in the slightest' about Embiid (1:08). 76 ers chances to win in playoffs dwindle without Embiid (1:17).

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The Sixers crowd roared as Embiid, the self-proclaimed "Phantom of the Process," waved his arms toward the crowd and exhorted them to get louder. Sixers fans started tailgating in the sports complex about seven hours before tipoff and one group posted a sign on their tent that read "Saturdays Are For The Process." The Sixers had a blue-out and gave away free T-shirts in preparation of their first playoff game since 2012.

"There is a gratitude that I have, we have. Finally, here we are and our fans genuinely have something to be proud of with us," Brown said.

The Game 1 victory sure didn't surprise Embiid.

He had already mapped out the 76ers' road to an NBA championship on his Instagram feed.

"It's about that time!!! #Playoffs #PhantomofTheProcess

Embiid posted a photo burst of teams in order of a potential road toward a Process title. He started with the Heat, followed by Boston, then a picture of him hugging Cleveland's LeBron James, and ending with Embiid looking at Golden State's Draymond Green.

76ers' leading scorer, Hall of Famer Hal Greer dies at 81

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The Philadelphia 76 ers have been snake bit for the past three seasons. While that has crippled the team’s hopes of significant improvement in that season, it NBA Rumors: Joel Embiid out indefinitely; could miss start of playoffs Sir Charles In Charge. Can the Sixers survive without Joel Embiid ?

Philadelphia was shorthanded without the services of guards JJ Redick (leg) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist). READ: Embiid , 76 ers power past Bucks 116-94 and into 6th in East. ' Playoff mode' Ginebra ready for anything, says Tenorio | Inquirer Sports.

The Heat would swipe left on the collage.

For a half, the Heat got what they needed against one of the NBA's toughest teams and James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk helped them take a 60-56 lead at the break. Olynyk led the Heat with 26 points.

The Sixers, who set an NBA record with 16 straight wins to end the season, got the rout in full swing with a raucous crowd behind them. The Heat shot 26 percent in the third and were outscored 34-18.

Simmons assisted on Ilyasova's 3 and then hit a jumper for a 66-63 lead. Dario Saric, who the Sixers waited for two years to come over while he played overseas, also buried a 3 off an assist from Simmons. Simmons made a statue out of Olynyk, crossing him up and busting through for a two-handed slam that brought down the house.

All that was left was the "Trust the Process!" chants and they rang out inside the Wells Fargo Center once Saric buried a 3 in the fourth for a 109-87 lead.

TIP-INS

Heat: G Goran Dragic was back in the starting lineup after missing the season finale with a sore knee. ... Embiid's bell ringing made him more of a factor in the game than Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside had just two points and he didn't seem pleased at one point with coach Erik Spoelstra.

Hassan Whiteside fires back at critics amid poor playoff performance

  Hassan Whiteside fires back at critics amid poor playoff performance Hassan Whiteside is telling his critics to make like an egg and beat it. The Miami Heat center, who has virtually been a non-factor during the team’s first three playoff games against the Philadelphia 76ers, took an opportunity on Friday to hit back at those criticizing him. “I don’t get caught up in the guys that can’t do my job but talk about my job,” said Whiteside simply, according to Shandel Richardson of the Sun-Sentinel. The problem is that Whiteside, who is making nearly $24 million this season, isn’t doing his job either to start the postseason. The 28-year-old has looked totally disengaged and unplayable on both ends, regardless of if his opposing matchup at the 5 spot is Ersan Ilyasova or Joel Embiid. All in all, Whiteside’s contribution to the Heat’s playoff run has been a pathetic 3.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game (despite starting all three contests so far). Whiteside also exhibited a poor attitude towards the end of the regular season, and it is looking increasingly likely that he has just checked out for the year.

Philadelphia 76 ers center Joel Embiid participated in half-court five-on-five action at training camp Friday, according to PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck Related. Pels Clinch Playoff Berth Behind AD. Riley: LeBron 'Did Right Thing' Leaving Heat , Cavs.

Buy Covers. Order Past Issues. Subscribe to SI Kids. Despite falling to the Wizards in the season opener , it was a positive sign to see the 76 ers core finally on the court together. He’ll get there. It’s also worth noting how much the offense opened up without Embiid on the floor enabling more

76ers: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was at the game. ... Hall of Famer Allen Iverson received a roaring standing ovation and former Eagles star running back LeSean McCoy was at the game.

UP NEXT

Game 2 is Monday in Philadelphia.

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Related slideshow: 2018 NBA playoffs (Provided by photo services)

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