76ers star center Joel Embiid will make his return to the lineup for Philadelphia’s Game 3 home tilt against the Heat Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Embiid might be limited in minutes, due to minimal conditioning in the past week. Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Embiid will play with a gray mask on his face.
Embiid, 28, has been out of action since the 76ers’ 132-97 victory over the Raptors in Game 6 of the First Round, after he suffered a right facial fracture and mild concussion. With just under five minutes remaining, Embiid caught an errant elbow from Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. Embiid was immediately announced as OUT indefinitely, but returns at just the right time for the 76ers.
With the series shifting to Philadelphia, the 76ers desperately need a victory in Game 3 to avoid going down 3-0 in the Second Round series. The 2021-22 NBA MVP Award finalist was his dominant self in the First Round series, averaging 26.3 PPG and 11.3 RPG.
Without Embiid in the lineup, Philadelphia has struggled to find additional scoring. In Game 2 alone, the trio of guards James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, and forward Tobias Harris combined for 75 of the 76ers’ 103 points. It was the same story in Game 1, as the trio scored 62 of Philadelphia’s 92 points.
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