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.
|Luck ´sort of happy´ with sack from Suggs|
|Former Giants star Cruz announces retirement|
|Indians top Red Sox in series opener|
|White Sox manager Rick Renteria hospitalised before game|
|No timetable for Sale return from shoulder injury|
|This is a partnership - Rodgers on contract negotiations with Packers|
|Redskins secure Peterson signing|
|Jets delighted with Darnold, open to trading Bridgewater|
|Japan players apologise for ´thoughtless, careless´ actions at Asian Games|
|Japan send home four basketball players from Asian Games amid prostitution scandal|
|Astros avoid sweep with win over Athletics|
|Dodgers slugger Machado leaves game after being struck by pitch|
|Harden says Carmelo will ´be a good fit´ for Rockets|
|Twins place Santana on DL with finger injury|
|Yankees´ Gregorius suffers ´pretty significant´ heel bruise|
|Sherman calls for NFL to scrap ´idiotic´ helmet rule|
|Simmons lauds influence of ´big brother´ LeBron|
|Athletics pull even with Astros in AL West|
|Gordon confirms Cleveland Browns return|
|Scherzer, Harper lead Nationals past Marlins|
|Stephen Curry wants to finish his career with Warriors|
|Mets set franchise record in 20-run victory|
|Eagles QB Nick Foles suffers shoulder strain|
|Golf behind Timberwolves´ draft mishap in 2009? Curry thinks so|
|Puig suspended, Hundley fined for starting Dodgers-Giants brawl|
|Yankees slugger Judge ´frustrated´ with wrist injury|
|Marlins pitcher Urena handed six-game ban for intentionally hitting Acuna|
|Giants medical team discovered tumour in Brittan Golden´s mouth|
|Braves survive skirmish, loss of Acuna to top Marlins|
|Foles isn´t worried about Brady´s handshake snub|
|Eli Manning on Jalen Ramsey´s comments: ´Who?´|
|Judge´s recovery taking longer than expected|
|Rockets GM: LeBron James is ´the greatest ever´|
|Jaguars DB Ramsey calls Bills QB Allen ´trash´|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger in concussion protocol|
|Braves´ Acuna Jr. has arrived as a true MLB star|
|Roethlisberger evaluated for concussion after practice|
|Brady ´absolutely´ expects to face Eagles|
|Wentz ´gonna be close´ for Eagles opener|
|Cleveland ´victory fridges´ to unlock beer if Browns finally win|
|Mariners reinstate Cano after 80-game suspension|
|Predators sign Ryan Ellis to eight-year, $50M contract|
|Rookie LB Roquan Smith finally signs Bears contract|
|DeGrom strikes out 12, Mets hit 5 homers in win over Yankees|
|Packers QB Rodgers doesn´t regret criticising team-mates|
|Indians OF Martin recovering from life-threatening bacterial infection|
|Shoulder injury sends Royals starter Duffy to DL|
|Yankees place Sabathia on DL with right knee inflammation|
|49ers to sign veteran RB Alfred Morris, Kyle Shanahan says|
|Veteran Carmelo Anthony pens one-year Rockets deal|
|Sale strikes out 12 in Red Sox´s win over Orioles|
|Wade will only return to Miami Heat|
|Marlins´ Holaday enters as pinch hitter, hits walk-off double in extras|
|Former Cavaliers guard Thomas apologises for Cleveland comment|
|Curry makes $25,000 donation after missing Web.com Tour cut|
|Jamal Crawford would be ´honoured´ to play for 76ers|
|Wall: Wizards equal to Celtics, 76ers, Raptors after LeBron left the East|
|Dolphins´ Kenny Stills calls out NFL for ´blackballing´ Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid|
|Gausman shuts down Brewers, Red Sox score 19|
|Curry misses cut, finishes last at Web.com Tour event|
|Paul excited to be play with Carmelo in Houston|
|Angels star Trout placed on DL with right wrist inflammation|
|Redskins rookie Guice out for season with torn ACL|
|Colts´ Luck on long-awaited return: ´I was nervous´|
|Sixers rookie Zhaire Smith has foot surgery|
|NFL players protest during anthem, Kaepernick tweets support|
|Astros slip to 0-4 against Paxton with loss to Mariners|
|Dez Bryant tells Browns: I´m coming to visit the Land!|
|WATCH: Odell Beckham Jr. turns heads with one-handed catch|
|Leonard breaks silence to thank Spurs and Popovich|