ATLANTA — Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 101-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night at Phillips Arena.
- Just call Ben Simmons the rookie of the year. If the Sixers point guard didn’t lock up the award weeks ago, he did so Friday night. The rookie notched his 11th triple-double despite sitting out the final quarter. Simmons finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks, one steal and just two turnovers in 26 minutes, 30 seconds.
- Markelle Fultz is finding his groove. The first overall pick in June’s draft had his best shooting performance since returning to action on Monday. He scored 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting. Fultz also made both of his foul shots. The point guard shot a combined 6-for-18 from the field in his first two games back.
- Ersan Ilyasova is going see a lot of action as a reserve center while Joel Embiid remains sidelined. The power forward played a chunk of minutes at the five position on Friday. He was impressive doing so, posting game highs of 21 points and 16 rebounds.
- This game marked the Sixers’ first win in Atlanta since April 2013. That was before Brett Brown was hired as coach. So this was definitely a milestone moment for him and the team.
- This was a horrible game in regards to foul shooting. The Sixers shot 69.2 percent (9-for-13), while the Hawks shot 66.7 percent (10-for-15).
“Best” and “worst” awards
- Best performance: This goes to Simmons. His passes were straight out of an AND1 Mixtape Tour while picking up an easy triple-double.
- Worst performance: Taurean Prince, the Hawks’ small forward, missed 11 of 17 shots — including going 0-for-6 on three-pointers — to finish with 12 points. He graded out with a game-worst minus-26.
- Best defensive performance: Simmons also gets this with a team-high two blocks and one steal.
- Worst statistic: This goes to the Sixers shooting 2-for-19 (10.5 percent) on three-pointers in the first half.
- Best statistic: This goes to the Sixers’ 34 assists on 42 made baskets to mark their NBA record ninth consecutive game with 30 or more assists.