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.
20 de octubre 2018
|Dovizioso grabs pole at Motegi, Marquez sixth|
|Langer backs Marsh for ODI squad|
|Butler turns boos to MVP chants in Timberwolves´ first win|
|Brewers force game seven against Dodgers in NLCS|
|Guardiola admits Hart decision may have been a mistake|
|Vieira: Balotelli the same now as he was at 16|
|Butragueno backs under-fire Lopetegui|
|Liverpool´s defensive improvement has hurt attack – Klopp|
|Butler booed by Timberwolves fans during introductions|
|Pochettino: Dier´s Ramos tackle highlighted Spurs´ attitude|
|Man City working on new deal for Sane – Guardiola|
|Golden Knights sign RW Tuch to seven-year extension|
|Bryant explains how Lakers could beat Warriors|
|Finals hopefuls Isner, Fognini into Stockholm semis|
|Browns trade running back Hyde to Jaguars|
|Mourinho: I´d love to have Hazard at Manchester United|
|Hamilton´s title chances enhanced by Vettel´s grid penalty|
19 de octubre 2018
|Deja vu for Enisei as La Rochelle inflict another thrashing|
|Five-star Jovic makes Bundesliga history|
|Liverpool´s scoring slump no concern for cautious Klopp|
|He´s the Special One - Sarri insists he is not on Mourinho´s level yet|
|Second-half blitz guides Leicester to European success|
|Sheffield Wednesday 1 Middlesbrough 2: Besic, Assombalonga see off Owls|
|Goerges rallies to reach Luxembourg Open final, Jabeur makes history|
|Howe: Transfer speculation will not disrupt Ake|
|´Do we really want opera every night?´ - Klopp not changing Nations League view|
|Vile and abhorrent – Chelsea´s Carney responds to online abuse|
|Giants WR Beckham Jr. explains why he might cramp up: ´I really don´t like water´|
|Man City pay training-pitch tribute to Joe Hart|
|Neymar to be rested as Tuchel rubbishes Ballon d´Or concerns|
|Sarri ´not interested´ in Christensen father´s quit threat|
|Cardinals fire offensive coordinator McCoy after 1-6 start|
|Neymar return unlikely, but anything can happen – Valverde|
|Bairstow a doubt for fourth ODI|
|Manchester United fined for late arrival and delayed kick-off against Valencia|
|Australia-Pakistan chat not ´especially polite´ - Sarfraz|
|Pogba relishing ´pressure game´ against in-form Hazard|
|Don´t bet on Cardiff survival, warns Warnock|
|Buffon enjoying Tuchel´s methods at PSG|
|RIP to Wimbledon epics! Isner feels like The Undertaker following final-set tie-break rule|
|Sevilla performance sealed Bernat´s Bayern exit - Hoeness|
|Keita set to miss out as Liverpool monitor injured stars|
|He didn´t want to be here – Guardiola doubts Sancho will return to Manchester City|
|Sarri: Manchester United are the best in the Premier League|
|Mourinho salutes ´brave´ Shaw for ´best possible´ response to criticism|
|No Ballon d´Or distractions for Griezmann, insists Simeone|
|Wigan stand by Hardaker as full-back prepares to undergo rehabilitation|
|Barcelona deny Neymar talk|
|Hazard can win the Ballon d´Or as a Chelsea player, insists Sarri|
|De Bruyne in contention to start in Manchester City´s clash with Burnley|
|Neymar needs to mature to reach Messi levels - Xavi|
|We have a hell of a lot to do - Paine slams Australia batting|
|Kerber and Osaka to meet at WTA Finals|
|Lorenzo out of Japanese MotoGP|
|Real Madrid handed Africa trip in Copa del Rey|
|Allegri: Ronaldo has sharpened Juventus focus|
|No Wade in Wasps squad amid NFL reports|
|Rooney: Five of us controlled Man United dressing room|
|Bayern bosses launch scathing attack on ´disrespectful´ media|
|Saints lock in Lawes to new deal|
|Adelaide United 1 Sydney 1: Debutant Le Fondre rescues a point|
|Madrid can´t look back, only forward - Lopetegui confident of revival|
|Wimbledon to introduce final-set tie-breaks|
|Abbas inspires Pakistan to series victory|
|Madrid boss Lopetegui hopeful on Bale availability|
|Mood is positive at Bayern, insists under-pressure Kovac|
|LeBron offers food for thought after losing Lakers debut|
|Bolt future not an immediate concern for Mariners|
|Hazard: I could finish my career at Chelsea|
|Buffon hoping to avoid Champions League final against Juventus|