Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 132-130 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
- The Wells Fargo Center is going to be rocking in the playoffs. This game had a serious playoff feel. The electricity in the arena was amazing and aided the Sixers in a huge way.
- The more Ben Simmons plays the more you scratch your head over his not being named an all-star. The Sixers point guard routinely hands out butt whippings on the court. On this night, he made AND1 Mixtape passes to en route to finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, four steals, three turnovers and one block. It was his 12th triple-double of the season.
- JJ Redick continues to shine. The Sixers shooting finished with a team-high 28 points to extend his career-best streak of consecutive games with at least 19 points to seven games. His season average of 16.9 points is a career high.
- We all figured T.J. McConnell‘s playing time would suffer amid Markelle Fultz’s return. But it really took a hit against the Cavs. The Sixers reserve point guard played a season-low 5 minutes, 27 seconds. It was his second shortest time on the court during his three-year career.
- With 35 assists, the Sixers extended their stretch of at least 20 assists to 30 straight games. This is the third-longest streak for 20-plus assists in team history.
“Best” and “worst” awards
- Best performance: This goes to LeBron James. He scored 44 points while making 17 of 29 shots, including 4 of 8 three-pointers. He also had 11 rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and one steal for his 18th triple-double of the season. His lone negative was eight turnovers.
- Worst performance: Sixers power forward Dario Saric missed eight of his nine shots to finish with three points after missing the past three games with cellulitis in his right elbow.
- Best defensive performance: I gave it to Sixers small forward Robert Covington for finishing with three steals and three blocks.
- Worst statistic: This goes to the Saric’s shooting.
- Best statistic: This goes to the Sixers’ 78 first-half points to set a Wells Fargo Center record for points in a half.