Simmons, Embiid power 76ers to NBA victory

By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
AAP

Joel Embiid looked like a masked superhero and Ben Simmons was the boy wonder in the Philadelphia 76ers' victory over the Miami Heat that at times looked more like a street fight than an NBA playoff game.

Simmons didn't mind the elbows and other tough play in the blowout 128-108 win in Miami on Thursday that gave the 76ers a 2-1 series lead in their best-of-seven first-round series.

"I played Australian football, so I'm used to it," Simmons told reporters.

The game was tight until the final quarter when the 76ers outscored the Heat 32-14.

Simmons fell just short of another triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Embiid, playing his first game after sitting out the past 10 with a fractured eye socket, dominated with 23 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

Embiid, who wore a black mask and protective goggles, engaged in trash-talking with the Heat during the game and continued it in the post-game press conference.

"I love blowing teams out," 213cm centre Embiid told reporters.

"We're not here to make friends.

"We're here to win the series."

Embiid lost the mask several times when it fell on the court while jousting with Heat big men Hassan Whiteside, Kelly Olynyk and Justise Winslow.

Winslow, who was involved in some trash-talking battles with Embiid, gave the mask special attention.

"Justise stepped on it and tried to break it with his hands," Embiid said.

"But what they don't know is I have 50 of them.

"It will take them more to get me out of the series."

Winslow said he picked them up because they were right in front of him.

"He kept throwing them off," Winslow said.

Miami was led by Goran Dragic's 23 points.

Simmons, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award favourite, continued to play like an elite veteran in coming just three assists short of the triple-double.

The Melbourne-born 21-year-old is averaging a mighty 21 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in the first three playoff games.

76ers coach Brett Brown pointed to the way his team moved the ball.

"Five guys had four or more assists," Brown said.

"Those are massive numbers and statement numbers against a very physical Miami team."

Game four is in Miami on Saturday.