(CNN)Donning a protective look mask, Joel Embiid looked and acted the relation of superhero connected Friday night.
Recovering from an orbital fracture and a torn thumb ligament, the 28-year-old cleared concussion protocols conscionable hours earlier the Philadelphia 76ers important Game 3 clash with the Miami Heat successful the Eastern Conference semifinals.
All that was missing was a hero's cape, arsenic Embiid proceeded to people 18 points to assistance support the 76ers' playoff dreams live with a 99-79 triumph astatine Wells Fargo Center.
Adding a game-high 11 rebounds and an assist, Embiid's efforts helped the 76ers teardrop distant successful the 4th fourth to chopped the Heat's vantage to 2-1 successful the best-of-seven series.
Tyrese Maxey led scoring for the 76ers alongside Danny Green with 21 points, a fitting full fixed the instrumentality of his team's MVP campaigner -- Embiid wears No. 21.
"I was truthful blessed to spot 21 [jersey] hanging up successful the locker room," Maxey told reporters.
"He's a soldier. Thumb, mask, concussion, breached look -- marque him look adjacent uglier present -- he's resilient man, he's the MVP for a reason.
"Just the attraction that helium demands is large for us, and conscionable a grounds to his volition and to his privation to win."
The Cameroonian's instrumentality marked the culmination of a accelerated recovery, having lone been upgraded from 'out' to 'doubtful' by the 76ers connected Friday morning.
After Wednesday's Game 2 defeat, 76ers manager Doc Rivers had said that Embiid had "so galore steps to spell through" earlier playing immoderate relation successful Game 3.
"It was a struggle," Embiid admitted. "Really due to the fact that of the concussion and dealing with a clump of symptoms, but I'm gladsome it went distant and I'm gladsome that I'm back."
Embiid's instrumentality underlined a bittersweet nighttime for the Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler, who had said earlier successful the week that helium wanted to spot the 76ers prima instrumentality truthful helium could look disconnected against his idiosyncratic MVP nomination.
Butler's privation was granted and helium roseate to the situation against his erstwhile squad with a game-high 33 points, adding 9 rebounds and 2 assists, but was the starring airy successful an altogether blunted Heat offense. Tyler Herro was the team's second-highest scorer with 14 points, with cipher other reaching treble digits.
The Heat volition person until Sunday to remedy their issues earlier returning to Wells Fargo Center for Game 4.
"You adhd Joel to immoderate team; the game, the scout report, it changes drastically," Butler said. "It's been similar that for his full career.
"That's not the crushed we mislaid the crippled -- we didn't get back, turned the shot over, we didn't get stops, we fouled, determination was a batch that went into that -- but helium is simply a large portion of it."
Meanwhile successful the Western semifinals, the Dallas Mavericks ended an 11-game losing streak to the Phoenix Suns to resistance themselves backmost into the bid with a 103-94 victory.
The Maverick's dynamic duo of Jalen Brunson and Luka Doncic dazzled with 28 and 26 points respectively, Doncic narrowly missing retired connected a triple-double with 13 rebounds and 9 assists arsenic helium continued a scintillating playoff run.
The Slovenian is conscionable the seventh subordinate successful NBA past to mean 35 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists crossed the archetypal 3 games of a series, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
"Energy man, I deliberation the vigor was insane," said Doncic. "This assemblage gets america going, the assemblage was astonishing the full game.
"The vigor and the execution we were better, we trusted ourselves, and that's what we gotta bash each game.
"We believe, they gotta triumph 4 truthful it's not implicit yet," Doncic added.
Having struggled to get a grip connected the Suns' evergreen Chris Paul successful Game 2, an assertive antiaircraft show from the Mavericks spoiled the 37-year-old's birthday, forcing Paul into 7 turnovers by the halfway stage.
"It felt similar each 7 of them were backmost to backmost to back," said Paul. "If I don't crook the shot implicit similar that I consciousness similar it's a antithetic game."
Jae Crowder's 19 points led scoring for the Suns, who volition person the accidental to adjacent retired the bid backmost successful Phoenix should they bounce backmost with triumph to marque it 3-1 connected Sunday for Game 4.