NBA playoffs

MVP form: Embiid drops 50, lifts 76ers to Game 3 win over Knicks


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MVP form: Embiid drops 50, lifts 76ers to Game 3 win over Knicks

DOMINANT. Sixers center Joel Embiid blocks Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein in Game 3 of their playoff series.

Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

After dropping two close games to start the series, the Sixers recover with Joel Embiid showcasing his MVP play against the Knicks

Joel Embiid set a playoff career high with 50 points to lift host Philadelphia past the New York Knicks, 125-114, cutting the 76ers’ deficit in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series to 2-1.

Embiid shot 13-of-19 from the field and 19-of-21 from the free-throw line in Game 3 on Thursday, April 25 (Friday, April 26, Manila time).

Tyrese Maxey – fresh from winning the NBA Most Improved Player award – added 25 points for the Sixers.

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 15 and Cameron Payne also had 11 for the Sixers, who dropped two close games in New York to start the series.

“We’ve gotta trust the Process, no pun intended,” Oubre told NBC Sports Philadelphia, referring to Embiid’s nickname. “We’ve got to take that energy that he gives us and go get it done.”

Game 4 in the best-of-seven series will be Sunday, April 28, in Philadelphia.

Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 39 points and 13 assists. Josh Hart added 20 points and OG Anunoby had 17. Isaiah Hartenstein chipped in with 14.

Hart’s basket cut New York’s deficit to 120-113 with 1:17 left. However, the Sixers responded with some clutch free throws by Embiid to seal the win.

The Knicks closed within 102-92 with 9:32 remaining in the fourth quarter on a three-pointer from Miles McBride.

Embiid, last season’s MVP, was fouled by Hartenstein while attempting a triple with 7:33 left, and he knocked down all three shots for a 106-94 lead.

Anunoby made consecutive treys and the Knicks trailed 113-105 with 4:48 remaining.

The game was quite physical from the opening tip and bubbled over when Embiid was whistled for a flagrant 1 foul against Mitchell Robinson with 4:34 left in the first quarter.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said of the flagrant-foul ruling, “Which one? The one they called, or the one they didn’t call? Just want to make sure we have clarity on that.”

The Knicks went ahead 47-45 with 4:53 remaining in the second after a short jumper by Anunoby.

Embiid soon scored a pair of baskets in the lane to tie the game at 49.

Donte DiVincenzo drove to the basket and threw down a one-handed dunk with 1:24 to go for a 56-53 advantage.

The Knicks led 58-55 at halftime thanks in large part to 17 points from Brunson.

Embiid picked up his third foul with 6:27 left in the second but stayed in and finished the half with 17 points.

Maxey hit a deep three-pointer with 6:58 left in the third and the Sixers led 71-66.

Soon after, the Knicks announced that Robinson would miss the remainder of the game with a sprained left ankle.

Embiid made three straight triples and the Sixers pulled ahead 82-72 with 4:35 remaining in the third.

Embiid scored 18 in the third and the Sixers led 98-85 at the end of the quarter. –

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