Sixers-Hawks observations: JJ Redick's leadership, Robert Covington's defense

76ers Hawks Basketball
Sixers JJ Redick (17) and Amir Johnson defend Hawks guard Damion Lee (8), the former Drexel player, during the first half.

ATLANTA — Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 121-113 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night at Philips Arena..

Five observations

  • What did I tell you about JJ Redick’s becoming the leader of the Sixers? The veteran guard had another solid performance, scoring a game-high 28 points and hitting 6 of 9 three-pointers. The Sixers are going to have to depend heavily on Redick until Joel Embiid returns from a fractured orbital bone near his left eye.
  • The Sixers looked like a squad focusing on Wednesday night’s regular-season finale against the Milwaukee Bucks instead of the Hawks.  They didn’t match the Hawks’ effort and did basically just enough to escape with the victory. From an effort standpoint, this might have been their worst performance during the 15-game winning streak.
  • Amir Johnson has been making the most of starting in place of Embiid. The center turned in one of his best performances of the season with 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting.  He also had eight rebounds, five assists and one steal.
  • Covington struggled offensively, making just 2 0f 7 shots to score six points. However, he more than made up for that with a team-high three blocks and one steal.
  • Sixers better cut down on their turnovers and shoot better from the foul line if they expect to beat the Bucks on Friday night. The Hawks scored 20 points off the Sixers’ 18 turnovers. The visitors also shot just 60 percent from the foul line.

“Best” and “worst” awards

  • Best performance: This goes to Redick. He was the major reason the Sixers were able to avoid an embarrassing loss.
  • Worst performance: Hawks reserve Isaiah Taylor missed 10 of his 15 shots en route to  scoring 10 points. He was just jacking up shots.
  • Best defensive performance: I gave it to Covington.
  • Worst statistic: This goes to the Sixers’ shooting 60 percent (18 for 30) from the foul line.
  • Best statistic:  The Sixers’ 54 rebounds.