Simmons bamboozles the Heat as 76ers take 2-1 lead

Ben Simmons fell just short of another triple-double and a masked Joel Embiid was dominant in the Philadelphia 76ers' 128-108 NBA playoff victory over the Miami Heat.

The win in Miami on Thursday gives the 76ers a 2-1 lead in their first round, best-of-seven, playoff series.

Simmons had 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Embiid, playing his first game after sitting out the past 10 with a face fracture and concussion, had 23 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

One particular play had fans in awe.

Halfway through the second quarter Simmons bamboozled four Heat defenders with two behind the back handles before driving to the ring for an easy lay-up.

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."

It was a tough, rugged game with Embiid mixing it with Heat big men Hassan Whiteside and Kelly Olynyk and losing his mask several times.

"I am so proud of what he did on the court," Brown, talking about Embiid, said.

Simmons was on fire again. Image: Getty

"It is not like there is a clear vision line out of the mask.

"It has a protective lens in there as well."

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 last time a 76ers player achieved a triple-double in an NBA game was the great Charles Barkley in 1991.

Melbourne-born 21-year-old Simmons is averaging an incredible 21 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in the first three playoff games.

Game four will be in Miami on Saturday.

with AAP