NEW YORK — Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 120-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night at the Barclays Center.
— The Sixers remind me of that bully we all knew in elementary school. They look like one of the Eastern Conference’s elite squads when facing a struggling team such as the Nets on the road. However, they have a hard time in road games against teams locked in a playoff battle with them.
— While it was against the Nets, Joel Embiid looked as if he’s getting over his slump. The all-star center played down low for the most part instead of camping out on the perimeter and scored 21 points on 9-for-17 shooting. He also had eight rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal in just 26 minutes, 28 seconds.
— This was the type of rest game the Sixers needed. None of their five starters played more than 28:43, and 11 Sixers got minutes. Trying to secure a top-four playoff seed, the Sixers can’t afford to hold players out of entire games. So it was good to get a big lead and take them out.
— This was a solid bounce-back game for Robert Covington. The small forward had 19 points on 6-for-10 shooting, including 3 for 7 on three-pointers — one game after getting three points on 0-for-10 shooting. He looked very confident and relaxed against the Nets.
— Sixers fans travel well and are vocal. At times, the Barclays Center had the feel of a neutral site and not the Nets’ home arena. Sixers fans chanted “Trust the Process” and “E-A-G-L-E-S” throughout the game. But this isn’t an isolated thing, as Sixers fans have been visible and vocal all season on the road.
‘Best’ and ‘worst’ awards
— Best performance: As dominant as Embiid was, I had to give this to Dario Saric. The Sixers power forward scored 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting. He also had two blocks to go with one steal in just 24:07.
— Worst performance: This was a tough one, because several Nets struggled. But this award goes to Joe Harris. The Brooklyn reserve guard finished with five points on 1-for-5 shooting. He also graded out at minus-15.
— Best defensive performance: Sixers reserve point guard T.J. McConnell was a pest, getting a game-high four steals.
— Worst statistic: This goes to the Sixers’ shooting 61.1 percent (11 for 18) from the foul line.
— Best statistic: I had to give this to the Sixers’ yielding only nine points on 10 turnovers. This was the first time all season that they yielded single-digit points via turnovers.
— Worst of the worst: This goes to the Nets’ effort in the fourth quarter. They put up just 14 points and hit only 3 of 16 shots (18.8 percent). It was as if they stopped caring, knowing the game was out of hand.