Joel Embiid experienced a successful postseason debut as he made his return from injury to help the Philadelphia 76ers take a 2-1 lead in their first round series against the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

Embiid, who was donning a protective face mask, finished Game 3 with 23 points, four assists and seven rebounds as the Sixers comprehensively won 128-108 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami in what was their 18th win in their last 19 games.

Marco Belinelli and Dario Saric also added 21 points each while Rookie of the Year candidate Ben Simmons scored 19 points, seven assists and 17 rebounds, however, the story of the game was Embiid.

The 24-year-old previously suffered a concussion and a fractured orbital bone on March 28 when he collided with teammate Markelle Fultz after going for a loose ball in a 118-101 win over the New York Knicks.

Missing the rest of the regular season in the process, Embiid hoped to feature soon after undergoing surgery and clearing the concussion protocol but was rested for Game 2 when a vintage Dwyane Wade performance pegged the series back to 1-1 earlier this week.

Embiid was not happy as he vented his frustration on Instagram, stating he was "f-----g sick and tired of being babied."

Having finally made his return, head coach Brett Brown was proud of Embiid's comeback, especially given the circumstances of the Cameroonian's first-ever playoff game.

"I am just so proud of what he did on the court, the professionalism he showed as this was all playing out in regards to the end of the regular season and him doing whatever he could to return to play," Brown told reporters after the game.

"Take the real situation of not only was he injured and not playing basketball, now you got to come back in on the road and play a playoff game with a mask. And it's not like there's a clear vision line out of the mask, it has a protective lens in there as well. For him to come back under those terms and that situation and produce the results that he produced and help lead us to a road playoff win, I'm very very proud of him."

During the first half of the game, part of Embiid's mask fell off with Heat forward Justise Winslow allegedly stepping on it with intent and breaking the visor portion of the mask. However, the Sixers staff had multiple replacements as Embiid responded to the incident postgame.

"Little did they know I have about 50 of them...I'm going to be a nightmare for them, too," Embiid said, adding he was glad to "kind of shut him up a little bit" after blocking Winslow's shot, just after he did the same to him.

The Heat host the Sixers once again in Game 4 on Saturday as they look to avoid trailing 3-1 in the series.