Wow! What a game!
Embiid, Maxey, and the whole team come up clutch to make a statement in game 3 against the Knicks.

He Said They Can Win the Series

After the game 2 loss, Embiid had some bad body language, but he still came out and said they could win the series. The only way to follow up a statement like that is to come out and dominate in game 3, and dominate he did.

After coming up short two times in a row, Embiid came out and put on a show, scoring 50 points and shooting 5/7 from 3.

Slow Start

To start off the game, the NBA and their beloved replay review made three appearances just halfway through the first quarter. Kyle Lowry and Joel Embiid were both assigned flagrant 1 fouls during that time. Not only that, but Embiid found himself in very early foul trouble with 3 in the first quarter.

All Sixers fans probably didn’t feel too good after seeing that. It had all the early makings of another devastating Sixers loss, which would essentially knock them out of the playoffs. Going into halftime, the Knicks had a 3-point lead. Not good.

Electric 3rd Quarter

After the aggravating start to the game, the Sixers came out firing in the third quarter, outscoring the Knicks by 16. The whole team got super hot from 3, led by Cam Payne and Embiid’s efforts from downtown. The Knicks had no answers – especially after Mitchell Robinson went down with an ankle injury. Embiid had his way throughout the whole third quarter, allowing the team to slow down in the fourth. The Sixers only outscored the Knicks in the third quarter, but they did it in such a dominant fashion that they didn’t need to in the other quarters.

Biggest Takeaways

Embiid Had to be Embiid

In my last article, I said the Sixers couldn’t win without Embiid coming out and dominating. He had to forget about bad calls and play his game. He did just that. Even after early foul trouble and a near altercation with Mitchell Robinson and D0nte DiVincenzo, Embiid stayed in the game and did his thing.

In previous years, this would have really hurt his level of play for the rest of the game, but he pushed it aside and dominated. He had a legitimate legacy game, scoring his career-high in the playoffs of 50 points.

Mitchell Robinson

After Mitchell Robinson went down, the Knicks had to put Precious Achiuwa up against Embiid with Isaiah Hartenstein sitting out due to foul trouble. This gave Embiid a humongous advantage over the much smaller Knicks team.

Achiuwa didn’t play terribly, but if Mitchell Robinson doesn’t come back this series, Embiid could have another monstrous game coming soon.

Brunson Returning to Form

It was only a matter of time before Jalen Brunson broke free of the Sixers’ plan to stifle his efforts on the court. He scored 39 points on 48.1% shooting, along with 13 assists. He had a great game. Even with those great numbers, the Sixers’ defense definitely made him work his hardest to get his points. Also, they caused him to commit some untimely turnovers that are unlike him. As long as the Sixers make him continue to work this hard for points, they can count that as a success.


For the first time in this series, the Sixers outrebounded the Knicks. The Knicks still had 11 offensive rebounds, but it was obvious the Sixers put an emphasis on limiting second-chance points.

More players crashed the boards today, which caused a lot of frustration among the Knicks players, who are usually rewarded more with their hustle.

Sixers’ Supporting Cast

Finally, the Sixers’ supporting cast showed up to play. Having a spark off the bench creates a huge difference in playoff games. In the last two games, the Knicks bench lit the Sixers up and demoralized them. Today, Cam Payne came in and flipped the tables. Even with his ugly-looking shot, he came in and instantly nailed some 3’s to provide some much-needed scoring outside of Embiid and Maxey.

Kelly Oubre also added 15 points. His athletic build and ability to shoot provide much-needed versatility from the wing. He forces defenders to step up on him, but he can also blow by for a dunk like he did in the first quarter.

Payne and Oubre were very important in tonight’s win.

We Have a Series

Going down 3-0 would have ended our playoff hopes, but we still can dream. 2-1 is a lot more manageable than 3-0, and many teams have come back to win from this before.

With Nick Nurse running the game plan and Embiid getting healthier every day, the Sixers can tie this series up on Sunday and put a lot of pressure on the Knicks.

PHOTO: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

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