Reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans are poised to reach the second round of the playoffs, while the Philadelphia 76ers moved ahead of the Miami Heat thanks to Joel Embiid.
Embiid returned from a facial injury and made his playoff debut in Philadelphia's 128-108 game-three win over the Heat in Miami on Thursday.
Wearing a mask, Embiid returned to the line-up and promptly scored 23 points while adding seven rebounds and four assists for the 76ers, who took a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference.
"I was excited," the 2018 All-Star told reporters after the game. "Worked really hard for it. Promised the city that and made it happen. I was kind of sad that I couldn't play in that first at home because we have a special connection. But I'm glad, came back today and we got a win."
The Pelicans were never scared by the Portland Trail Blazers as they eased to a 119-102 victory for a commanding 3-0 advantage in their Western Conference matchup.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are still struggling to figure things out as they combined for minus-43 when they were on the floor against the high-flying Pelicans.
The Stephen Curry-less Warriors dropped the Spurs 110-97 in San Antonio for a 3-0 lead in the west.
Thursday's win gave the Warriors their 18th successive victory in the Western Conference playoffs.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was absent for the game following the death of his wife, Erin, on Wednesday.
MIROTIC LEADS PELICANS
Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic had a career playoff-high 30 points along with eight rebounds. He actually outscored Anthony Davis, who posted 28.
Kevin Durant had 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists and was a perfect seven for seven from the free-throw line.
WADE FAILS TO IGNITE HEAT
Dwyane Wade had eight points and was just two-for-10 shooting with four turnovers and his Heat team-mate Hassan Whiteside scored five points in 13 injury-plagued minutes.
GAY WITH THE SLAM!
Spurs forward Rudy Gay started game three with a bang.
Philadelphia 76ers 128-108 Miami Heat
New Orleans Pelicans 119-102 Portland Trail Blazers
Golden State Warriors 110-97 San Antonio Spurs
CAVALIERS (1-1) AT PACERS (1-1)
LeBron James woke up for 46 points in Cleveland's game-two win over the Indiana Pacers, but it took every single one of those points to get a win. If the Cavaliers are not careful, Indiana could go up 2-1 behind another great performance from Victor Oladipo and his team-mates on Friday.
15 de diciembre 2018
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|Ovechkin joins rare NHL club with second straight hat-trick|
|Liverpool can´t be judged just on trophies – Klopp responds to Mourinho|
|Athletics´ Chapman undergoes procedure on left shoulder|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid miss Ronaldo|
|Ronaldo right about Juventus team spirit – Allegri|
|Klopp: I´m not the pope of football tactics|
|Stade beat Ospreys on emotional Chauvin tribute night|
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14 de diciembre 2018
|Vertonghen eyeing Spurs future beyond 2020|
|De Bruyne injuries could be a blessing for City, says Guardiola|
|Emery prepared to face Arsenal´s centre-back crisis|
|Ulster complete Scarlets double, Exeter gain Gloucester revenge|
|Sheffield United 1 West Brom 2: Baggies comeback boosts automatic promotion push|
|Del Potro back on court following knee injury|
|Canelo v Fielding: Rocky ready to write his own fairytale in New York|
|Boca part company with Schelotto after Copa Libertadores loss to River|
|Canelo v Fielding: Tale of the tape|
|Juventus defender Cancelo has knee surgery|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez and Rocky make weight in New York|
|Spalletti does not fear another mid-season crisis at Inter|
|Salah headlines CAF Player of the Year shortlist as Koulibaly misses out|
|Beckham Jr. out of Titans clash|
|Lipsky hits the front at Leopard Creek|
|Pederson coy over Wentz back injury|
|Liverpool ´not really likely´ to be active in January window, reveals Klopp|
|Always on the move and unpredictable - Pavard reveals surprising choice over toughest opponent|
|We need to get back to respect - Lampard alarmed by hate in football|
|Giles returns to England to replace Strauss as director|
|Hansen has no issue with Milner-Skudder Toulon switch|
|Juventus to rest Ronaldo after Torino showdown|
|Titmus strikes gold again as world records tumble in Hangzhou|
|Malinga to captain Sri Lanka in New Zealand|
|Rivaldo would like ´excellent´ Isco at Barcelona|
|United a long way from Mourinho´s vision|
|´Klopp denies an answer!´ - Liverpool boss dismisses questions about ´world-class´ Pogba|
|Returning Nowitzki ´so tired´ after making NBA history|
|Aguero and De Bruyne in contention for Manchester City v Everton|
|Simeone has no plans to cash in on Costa|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez´s greatest nights|
|Fabregas: Chelsea being unfairly scapegoated over racism allegations|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp focuses on defensive solutions for United clash|
|Hope cannot inspire Windies as Bangladesh cruise to series win|
|Benitez picks up Premier League Manager of the Month award|
|Chavez, Marquez and Canelo - Mexico´s greatest multi-weight world champions|
|Bale set to miss Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano|
|Robben out until January as Bayern look to avoid serious injury|
|Milan avoid UEFA ban in FFP punishments.|
|Mourinho compares Liverpool to ´an amazing house´ but insists trophies matter|
|Brisbane Roar 2 Melbourne Victory 4: Muscat´s men hit A-League summit|
|Bumrah confident second Test is ´in the balance´ after India recovery|
|Isco gesture was for a corner or foul, claims Solari|
|Harris leads Australia into ascendancy on day one|
|ATP announces candidates to host future Finals|
|Ronaldo: Juventus fans refuse to lose to Torino|
|Hero Rivers feared he had cost Chargers in KC|
|Williams would welcome Llorente back to Athletic Bilbao|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Minding the gap|
|Milan elimination unjust, fumes Leonardo|
|Paul hails ´sick´ Harden after record-breaking display|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Salah, Mane and Firmino v Rashford, Martial and Lukaku in Opta number|
|Canelo open to GGG trilogy as he chases place in Mexican history|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|