D\u2019Angelo Russell flashed some postseason magic, playing like the All-Star leader the Nets needed with 26 points, and Caris LeVert scored 23 to lead the Nets to a 111-102 win on Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. Jimmy Butler scored 36 points and saved the Sixers, favored by many to at least reach the East semifinals, from losing by 25. Joel Embiid slogged his way through 24 forgettable minutes on a bum left knee. Ben Simmons came up small against Russell, his high school teammate, who scored 19 second-half points. Russell, LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie gave the Sixers fits off the dribble, buried open looks from 3-point range, and a team that got hot late just to make the playoffs suddenly has the upper hand on the road over a 51-win team stocked with stars. With Philadelphia behind by 16 in the fourth quarter, Amir Johnson appeared to show Embiid a text when they sat on the bench. Johnson then slid the phone into his warm-up pants pocket. \u201cI just looked down because he said his daughter was extremely sick and he was checking on her,\u201d Embiid said. Sixers Coach Brett Brown called Johnson\u2019s actions \u201ccompletely unacceptable.\u201d Brown said only that he would deal with Johnson, who was inactive for the game. It was a fitting episode in a game that the Sixers seemed to phone in. Poised for a postseason breakthrough, Russell flourished and hit a string of jumpers in the third that never let the Sixers seriously chip away at the lead. LeVert\u2019s third 3-pointer in the fourth made it a 16-point game, and there was no looking back for one of the biggest wins since the Nets moved to Brooklyn. Russell raised his arms in celebration as he headed down the tunnel into the locker room. Embiid was introduced to a roaring standing ovation and heard chants of \u201cM.V.P.\u201d and \u201cTrust the Process\u201d when he opened the game with two free throws. But he did not seem ready to play at an All-Star level for any substantial length of time. He was hit with a technical when he shoved Jared Dudley to the ground, and he went back to the locker room for more treatment with about three minutes left in the first half. He scored 22 points, 12 on free throws, and had 15 rebounds. Butler kept the Sixers in the game with a sensational first half that showed why the franchise surrendered so much to land the four-time All-Star. He buried a 3-pointer at the horn to send Philadelphia into the break behind by 62-54. He was 6 of 10 and scored 23 points while the rest of the Sixers shot 10 of 38 for 31 points. Simmons, a first-time All-Star, missed four of five shots and scored only 2 points. Embiid has always fancied himself a 3-point shooter, and with tendinitis in his left knee that cost him most of the final month of the season rendering him immobile he decided to camp out a bit more beyond the arc. He missed all five of his 3-point attempts in the half \u2014 and the Sixers missed their first 11. With or without Embiid, the Nets were all but unstoppable for much of the half. Dinwiddie and DeMarre Carroll made consecutive 3-pointers during a 12-0 run. LeVert hit two straight 3s for a 14-point lead, and the Sixers \u2014 who had been the darlings of the city during their rise from the depths of the standings \u2014 were soundly booed off the court by 20,000 fans at Wells Fargo Center.