NBA 2021 playoffs: Joel Embiid posts record 36 playoff points and Philadelphia 76ers take 3-0 lead over Washington Wizards

NBA 2021 playoffs: Joel Embiid posts record 36 playoff points and Philadelphia 76ers take 3-0 lead over Washington Wizards

The Philadelphia 76ers have one foot in the second round of the playoffs.

The Sixers were in cruise control for much of Game 3 against the Washington Wizards, blasting the home team for a 132-103 victory.

Washington had no answer for Philadelphia at either end of the field, with the 76ers continuing their dominance in the series. Before we take a look at Game 4, let’s take a look at some of the takeaways from an impressive performance by the Eastern Conference No.1 seed.

Decisive third quarter

Trailing 72-58 at halftime, there was little margin for error to start the third quarter for Washington.

The bright spot was that Russell Westbrook had two triples to get the Wizards offensive in the first minute.

The negative was that Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris responded with their own long range bombs.

This trend was largely the story of the night, with the inability of wizards to stop at important moments. Philadelphia beat Washington 37-28 in the period to end the game with 12 minutes remaining.

Embiid’s Path to Destruction

From the start of Game 3, it was evident that Embiid didn’t have much of an interest in letting this series stay on the pitch.

Embiid scored 25 points in the first half on 9-on-13 shots from the floor, scoring at will from any position he wanted.

As if filling in the stats sheet wasn’t enough, the big man attempted to knock the rim off that thunderous jam just before half-time.

Adding 11 more points in the third, Embiid’s services were unnecessary in the final frame, with the superstar’s big man recovering in the fourth quarter.

The 36 points were a career high in the playoffs, clocking in just 27 minutes on 18 shots.

Minutes Points FG / FGA
Game 1 29:45 30 9-for-16
Game 2 26:17 22 8 for 12
Game 3 27:54 36 14-for-18

Simply put, wizards have absolutely no answer for Embiid.

Sixers efficaces

It’s unclear whether the Sixers deserve the credit or if the Wizards deserve more blame for Philadelphia’s scoring explosion, but everything has become easy for the No.1 seed.

Philadelphia finished the night shooting 58.6% from the field and 51.5% from beyond the arc, as the procession of goals continued with little resistance.

Along with a big night for Embiid, Tobias Harris continued his strong streak, finishing with 20 points, 13 rebounds and five 8-for-14 assists from the floor.

Danny Green’s Planned Match

Throughout his long playoff career, Danny Green has exploded for individual goal blasts in important games.

Game 3 against the Wizards was that game. With Washington threatening to hang around, it was Green who delivered a timely triple after a timely triple.

The veteran winger knocked down five triples in the first half to score his 15 points in the first quarter.

Westbrook fights on

Before the match, Malika Andrews d’ESPN reported that Russell Westbrook is expected to visit the locker room for ankle treatment throughout the night.

Clearly below 100%, Westbrook left everything on the floor in this one, finishing with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

The triple-double was the 11th of his playoff career, in addition to his NBA record of 184 regular-season triple-doubles.

Brooks adjusted the composition

Perhaps looking for a bigger size and a punch, Washington head coach Scott Brooks inserted Davis Bertans into the starting lineup for Game 3.

Goalless off the bench in his last outing, Bertans had limited impact in it, adding just eight points on a 1v5 shot from beyond the arc.

In addition to the limited score, the 6-foot-10 forward didn’t manage a single rebound in 31 minutes of field time. Its impact just wasn’t good enough.

And after?

It’s win or come home from now on for the Wizards. After the Miami Heat were swept away earlier today by the Milwaukee Bucks, the teams now have a 0-141 in NBA history facing a 3-0 deficit.

Game 4 is on Monday, May 31, the tip is 7 p.m. ET.

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