Russell also had three rebounds and three assists to hand the Nets a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series between the two Eastern Conference rivals.
The Nets were reliant on a big performance from their bench, with three players delivering double-digit displays to boost their offense.
But it was a disappointing outing for Australian star Ben Simmons, who was restricted to just nine points.
Embiid had been doubtful with left knee soreness and was cleared to play less than 10 minutes before the game. Embiid, who missed 14 of the team's final 24 games, looked hampered by his injury.
Sixers fans showed their frustration by booing their players and Embiid says it plays on their minds.
"The fact is is after every single miss," he said. "Every missed shot, then you get booed. You get the next one and you think 'Should I shoot it or not because I'm about to get booed?'"
Game two in the series takes place in Philadelphia on Monday.