Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 119-105 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
- The Sixers already led by 14 at halftime, but they completely unleashed on the Grizzlies in the third quarter. From halftime, until the last starter subbed out of the game with 3 minutes, 45 seconds left in the third, the Sixers shot 75 percent from the field, going 5 for 7 from three to increase their lead to 34 points.
- Improving to 40-30 for the season and moving into the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Sixers have already exceeded expectations with 12 games still remaining in the regular season. It’s the first time Philadelphia has had 40 wins in a season since 2010-11.
- Robert Covington has completely turned things around since going 0 for 10 from the floor in Miami on March 8. Since then, he is shooting 58.5 percent from the field and 51.4 percent from beyond the arc. He finished with 15 points Wednesday.
- The Sixers had 32 assists on 46 field goals. It was the 18th game this season in which they dished out 30 or more assists — the most such games the Sixers have had in a season since 1988-89 (21).
- Marco Belinelli continues to be an anchor and leader off the bench and is arguably Bryan Colangelo’s most successful acquisition. He scored 15 points against Memphis for his 11th double-digit performance in just 16 games with the Sixers.
‘Best’ and ‘worst’ awards
- Best performance: The Sixers starters combined for 72 points and created enough of a lead that they sat out the final minutes of the third period and the entire fourth. They were absolutely unstoppable.
- Worst performance: The Grizzlies desperately needed Marc Gasol to step up, but he was nearly ineffective against the Sixers. He racked up three fouls in the first two quarters and scored just five points in his 24 minutes of action. That’s a far cry from the 19 points he put up against Philadelphia on Jan. 22.
- Best defensive performance: Ben Simmons had two steals and nine rebounds in a game in which his length caused problems for every Memphis player who hit the court.
- Worst statistic: Justin Anderson had hit at least one trey in the last three games before going 0 for 5 from three-point land against the Grizzlies.
- Best statistic: Covington’s shooting performance was more than impressive, but his 75 percent shooting (3 for 4) on three-pointers was superb.
- Worst of the worst: While the Sixers starters were clicking and firing on all cylinders, the Grizzlies starters were puttering and sputtering. Memphis didn’t have a single starter who graded out with a positive plus-minus, and only two of its starters broke into double figures in scoring.