He made 14 of 18 shots, with a flow of powerful moves, fadeaway jumpers and 3 points, as the 76ers took their first 3-0 lead in a postseason series since 1985.
The Wizards, who have matchup issues all over the place against the bigger and deeper 76ers, didn’t team up with Embiid as aggressively as they did in Games 1 and 2 while looking to attract the attention elsewhere. Embiid crushed the strategy, accumulating 25 points in the first half.
He averages 30.6 points on a relentless 67% shot, including 55% on 3 points after shooting 3 of 4 in Game 3.
“It was one-on-one, and I wanted to take advantage of it. I guess it’s up to them to make that choice, ”Embiid said. “It’s hard to stop me if you send a double team or not. “
His dominance and confidence against the Wizards’ attempts to deal with him was exemplified by two possessions at the end of the second quarter.
In the open space at the 3-point line, Embiid rigged and easily passed Daniel Gafford, his defender on the game. When Embiid entered the lane, the back lineman, Rui Hachimura, bailed out and got out of the way. is escaped. Embiid got up for a power dunk but missed, perhaps surprised it came so easily.
Two possessions later, seeing no reason not to, he attempted the exact hit again. Gafford got lost on a fake Embiid pump. Hachimura bailed out when Embiid came rolling on the track, and this time the MVP runner-up had the right timing, polishing a highlight jam before straining his ears to the opposing crowd.
“I missed the dunk, and [the fans] let me hear about it, ”Embiid said. I got another chance, and wanted to hear more boos. It keeps me going; I like it. I love to play on the road. “
It wasn’t just Gafford and Hachimura; Embiid topped about half of the wizarding roster on the night.
Washington placed 13th in defense among the playoff teams and didn’t show much vigor, allowing the 76ers to get a net 3-point stream in transition and half-court.
Ben Simmons, who had 14 points and nine assists, has on several occasions set up teammates for 3 points, namely Embiid and Danny Green, who have made five. The 76ers made 17 of 33 3-pointers and shot 59% overall.
Wizards goaltender Russell Westbrook, playing with a sprained right ankle, had his best offensive game of the series with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, as he tied Jason Kidd for third place overall. triple-double playoff times with his 11th. Bradley Beal scored 25 points but only scored 1 of 8 3 points.
“Joel was special, special tonight,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “We had one of those nights when everything fell for us. ”