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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports' Martin Rogers breaks down all the playoff action from Saturday night's slate of games. USA TODAY

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NEW YORK — The Philadelphia 76ers made big moves to bring in J.J. Redick, Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler the past couple years, but the two guys who drive the engine are undeniably Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

When Butler was ejected in the third quarter Saturday after an altercation with Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley, it was Simmons and Embiid who took over down the stretch and did what franchise cornerstones should do in a playoff game on the road. The duo led the Sixers to a 112-108 win for a 3-1 series lead.

"I saw a partnership," said Sixers coach Brett Brown. "You especially saw it when we posted Jo. Ben finding space as his man left behind Joel's post-up, and then defensively, you could see them talking about what we were doing in pick-and-rolls.

"I think that there was a deeper connection after Jimmy was ejected."

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Embiid especially was terrific. After once again being a game-time decision after missing Game 3, Embiid had 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks in an all-around terrific game.

He's the first player to record at least 30 points, five assists and five blocks in a playoff game since his general manager Elton Brand in 2006. There are only six such games in NBA playoff history.

"Just look at the magnitude of the numbers," Brown added. "It's just a dominant performance. What more can I say?"

Normally, Butler would be the guy to close a game out. He has taken on that role during his time with the Sixers, but on Saturday more had to be done from others.

"He's our closer, so in that type of situation in the fourth quarter, he's the first option, as he should be," Embiid said of Butler. "If he's not on the floor, that's my job to take things under control and get us where we want to go and that's to get a win."

Simmons had 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting, eight rebounds and eight assists, and he took on a vocal leadership role at the point guard position.

"Just staying calm and keeping everybody together," said Simmons. "It was a long game. There was a lot of stuff going on, early on, but I think we maintained our mindset with the game and kept a level-headedness."

Embiid has been with the Sixers for four years and Simmons three. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but a win like this enforces the fact that they are the the constants, no matter what else is going on around them.

Now they'll look to close it out on Tuesday as the series shifts back to Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for Game 5.

Sixers Wire is part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group.

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