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

06:20  15 april  2018
06:20  15 april  2018 Source:   Associated Press

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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.

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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.


Game 2 is Monday in Philadelphia.


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Embiid explains Instagram rant: 'I just want the green light to play' .
Joel Embiid has apparently grown tired of sitting on the sidelines as his Philadelphia 76ers teammates go to war in the NBA playoffs. Following his team's 113-103 loss to the visiting Miami Heat in Game 2 on Monday night, the All-Star center voiced his frustrations on his Instagram account over not being cleared to compete:Embiid is getting antsy on the sidelines.— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 17, 2018He later explained, though, his post wasn't designed to be some sort of veiled shot at the organization for not letting him play.

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