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76ers try to take 3-1 lead on Heat

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

MIAMI -- Philadelphia 76ers reserve guard Justin Anderson scored six points on Thursday, but he played a major role nonetheless in a 128-108 playoff win over the Miami Heat.

It was Anderson who worked on the psyche of teammate Joel Embiid, the 76ers' All-Star center who returned after missing 10 straight games because of a concussion and left-eye injury.

"Justin was hyping me up on the bench, telling me I'm one of the best players in the league and that I have to take over," said Embiid, who wore a mask during the game. "I liked that."

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Mitchell, Jazz aim to go up 2-1 on OKC

SALT LAKE CITY -- Donovan Mitchell is doing everything he can to bolster his case to win Rookie of the Year honors during the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Mitchell took over the fourth quarter to help the Utah Jazz claim a 102-95 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday and even the series at 1-1. He scored 13 of his team-high 28 points in the fourth quarter. It helped the Jazz erase a double-digit third-quarter deficit and gave them room to pull away late.

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Turner returns, Harkless out for Blazers

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Portland coach Terry Stotts says Evan Turner is available to play but Maurice Harkless will miss Game 4 of the first-round playoff series with New Orleans.

The Trail Blazers are trying to stave off elimination Saturday, trailing the Pelicans 3-0.

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Wolves return home down 0-2 to Rockets

MINNEAPOLIS -- When the Minnesota Timberwolves clinched their first playoff berth in 14 years with a win against Denver in the regular-season finale, the home crowd at Target Center erupted in jubilation as the drought ended.

Minnesota went on the road to Houston and lost the first two games of the first-round series. The Timberwolves and their fans hope a return home can get them back in the series.

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Down 17, Pacers edge Cavs to go up 2-1

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Pacers kept insisting this team was different.

Anyone who doubted them coming into the playoffs understands now.

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Bucks rout Celtics, cut deficit to 2-1

MILWAUKEE (AP) Khris Middleton scored 23 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 19 and the Milwaukee Bucks used a dominating first half to overwhelm the Boston Celtics 116-92 on Friday night, narrowing their deficit in the first-round playoff series to 2-1.

Eric Bledsoe and Jabari Parker each added 17 for the energized Bucks, who held the Celtics without a field goal for nearly an 11-minute stretch of the first half.

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Wizards roll, move within 2-1 of Raptors

WASHINGTON (AP) All of about 2 1/2 minutes into the game, Washington forward Markieff Morris and Toronto's OG Anunoby needed to be separated after a near-fight that drew in other players.

Early in the third quarter Friday night, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry was called for a flagrant foul when he swiped a hand across Bradley Beal's forehead as the Wizards guard went in for a breakaway layup. Later in that period, things really came close to spiraling out of control, but John Wall's bodyguard interceded when Washington's All-Star jawed with Toronto's Serge Ibaka.

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Curry to take part in modified practices

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been cleared to take part in modified practices but will be out at least one more week with a left knee injury.

The Warriors said Curry was examined by the team's medical staff Friday and is making progress in recovering from the grade 2 left MCL sprain that has sidelined him since March 23.

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Winslow fined $15K for Embiid mask stomp

NEW YORK (AP) Miami's Justise Winslow has been fined $15,000 by the NBA for attempting to damage Philadelphia center Joel Embiid's facemask during Game 3 of their playoff series.

Winslow intentionally stepped on Embiid's mask after it had fallen onto the court with 7:51 remaining in the second quarter of the 76ers' 128-108 victory on Thursday night.

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Packers QB Rodgers buys into Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has joined the ownership group of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks as a limited partner.

The Bucks made the announcement Friday night between the first and second quarters of Game 3 of their Eastern Conference playoff series against the Boston Celtics. The Bucks say that Rodgers is the only active NFL player to be a limited partner of an NBA team.

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