CHARLOTTE – Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 128-114 victory against Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night at the Spectrum Center.
— This victory was much bigger than just nabbing a rare road win. It improved the Sixers to 35-28. This is the most wins they’ve had in a season since going 35-31 in the strike-shortened season of 2011-12. The Sixers finished 41-41 the season before that.
— The Sixers accomplished a feat they hadn’t experienced since the 1992-93 season by tallying 35 assists. That’s the last time they had four games in a season with at least 35 assists.
— T.J. McConnell is probably making the biggest sacrifice of any Sixer receiving regular minutes. Again Tuesday, the point guard played minutes at shooting guard. In those instances, McConnell rarely touched the ball and looked out of place.
— It’s hard to call Dario Saric a fourth option. He played like a go-to guy for the second straight game. This time, the power forward had 19 points, with 11 coming in the first half. He made 4 of 7 three-pointers.
— This was another one of those games in which Ben Simmons could have easily had a triple-double had he received more minutes. The point guard finished with 16 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds in 32 minutes, 55 seconds. He played only 6:35 in the fourth quarter. Simmons has six triple-doubles and could easily have nine with more minutes on the floor. However, the Sixers are more concerned with Simmons’ health than his stats.
‘Best’ and ‘worst’ awards
— Best performance: Robert Covington had arguably his best all-around game of the season. Covington, who didn’t attempt a shot in the first quarter, had 22 points and hit 5 of 9 three-pointers. This was the small forward’s highest-scoring game since he had 25 points Dec. 2. In addition, he was the primary defender on Charlotte all-star point guard Kemba Walker, who was held to a season-low five points on 1-for-9 shooting and missed all five of his three-pointers.
— Worst performance: You have to give this to Walker. The seventh-year veteran came in averaging 23.2 points. This marked the first time since Dec. 18 that he failed to score at least 12 points.
— Best defensive performance: Covington wins this, of course.
— Worst statistic: This goes to Joel Embiid for missing all three of his first-quarter shots.
— Best statistic: I had to give this to the Sixers for shooting 57.5 percent (50 of 87) from the field. It was their highest field-goal percentage since Feb. 9, 2010.
— Worst of the worst: This goes to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s being ejected by receiving two technical fouls for arguing that he was fouled after being knocked to the court with 3:52 left. That accounted for half the four individual technical fouls called that night.