NBA playoff dispatches: Sixers overcome Embiid struggles, Suns take 2-1 lead

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The NBA playoffs are well and truly underway and there is plenty to talk about. From the upsets to the nail-biting finishes, this year’s playoffs have been an absolute rollercoaster for fans and players alike. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two standout games from the playoffs and highlight the key moments that helped shape their outcomes.

First up, we have the Philadelphia 76ers who were able to overcome the absence of their superstar center, Joel Embiid, to take home a victory against the Washington Wizards. Embiid, who has been dealing with knee issues, played just 11 minutes in the game before being forced to sit out the remainder of the contest.

Despite his absence, the 76ers were still able to take home a 132-103 victory thanks to an incredible team effort. Four of their starters scored over 20 points each, with Tobias Harris leading the way with 28 points on the night. Ben Simmons, who was forced to step up in Embiid’s absence, finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, recording his third triple-double of the season.

Although they were able to win without Embiid, his absence was certainly felt by the 76ers. In the 11 minutes he played in the game, Embiid was able to score eight points, adding two rebounds and two assists to his stat line. His presence on the court is a game-changer for the 76ers, and they will need him back at full strength if they hope to make a deep playoff run.

Meanwhile, over in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns were able to take a 2-1 lead over the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, in a hotly contested matchup. The Lakers came into the game looking to even the series after dropping Game 2, but the Suns were determined to hold onto their home-court advantage and take control of the series.

The Suns were led by guard Devin Booker, who poured in a game-high 28 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including hitting 3-of-6 from deep. He also added seven rebounds and three assists to his stat line, further cementing his status as one of the league’s best young talents.

One of the defining moments of the game came late in the fourth quarter, when Booker hit a clutch 3-pointer over Lakers forward Anthony Davis to give the Suns a six-point lead with just over a minute remaining. It was a huge shot that gave the Suns the breathing room they needed to hold onto their lead and secure the victory.

However, it wasn’t just Booker who contributed to the Suns’ win. Point guard Chris Paul had another exceptional game, finishing with 18 points, nine assists, and three rebounds, while also playing a key role in the team’s defense. The Suns were also able to get valuable contributions from their bench, with Cameron Payne and Mikal Bridges both scoring in double figures.

For the Lakers, it was another frustrating night. LeBron James had another stellar performance, finishing with 24 points, five rebounds, and seven assists, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Suns’ balanced attack. Davis had an off-night, scoring just 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting, and the Lakers struggled to find consistent offense outside of James and Davis.

Despite the outcome, the Lakers will have a chance to even the series when they play Game 4 on Sunday. They’ll need to find a way to get more production from their supporting cast, particularly from players like Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder, if they hope to beat the Suns and advance to the next round.

In conclusion, the NBA playoffs have been unpredictable thus far, with upsets and thrilling finishes adding to the excitement. The Philadelphia 76ers were able to overcome the absence of Joel Embiid to pick up a crucial victory over the Washington Wizards. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns took a 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers thanks to a balanced attack led by Devin Booker and Chris Paul. It’s still early in the playoffs, and there is sure to be plenty more drama and excitement to come.