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The Philadelphia 76ers have been fined $50,000 for violating NBA injury reporting rules, the league announced Saturday evening.
The fine stems from the team’s handling of Joel Embiid before the team’s Game 3 victory over the Miami Heat Friday.
The NBA says Philadelphia failed to disclose his participation status “in an accurate and timely manner.”
Embiid had been out of the lineup since he suffered a right orbital fracture and mild concussion during the 76ers’ Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors in the first round. He returned Friday against the Heat after missing the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Embiid was reportedly cleared from the NBA’s concussion protocol and participated in a team shootaround Friday morning, but he remained “out” until around noon. He was then upgraded to doubtful and was named as part of the starting lineup about 30 minutes before the game started, ESPN reported.
His return has changed the dynamic of the series, which saw the Heat win the first two games by double digits.
“Down 2-0, I had to do really everything possible to be out there, no matter how I was feeling,” Embiid said.
Embiid was wearing a protective mask due to the orbital fracture and scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on 5-12 shooting from the floor. The 76ers won the game 99-79.
“I didn’t think I had a lot of energy, honestly,” Embiid said. “I was really trying to really get through it. Kind of, you just use my presence out there as a decoy. I feel like I pride myself really defensively. And I feel like that’s where my presence is really felt. On the defensive end. So that’s one of the main reasons why playing I thought I could have a huge impact.”
In Game 3, the Heat were outrebounded and had only two players score in double figures. The team also connected on just seven of 30 shots from behind the arc.
The momentum now appears to be shifting in Philadelphia’s favor following the return of Embiid, despite the Sixers being down 2-1.
Last month, the NBA announced it had fined the Suns $25,000 for violating injury reporting rules by failing to disclose guard Devin Booker’s participation status in an accurate and timely manner. The violation occurred before Game 6 of the team’s first-round playoff series against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The series between the 76ers and Heat continues Sunday night in Philadelphia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report