Sixers-Heat observations, 'best' and 'worst' awards: Marco Belinelli's presence, Josh Richardson's struggles and Philly's 3-point clinic

76ers Magic Basketball
The Philadelphia 76ers had 30 assists on 42 made baskets in their 118-98 win over the Orlando Magic.

Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 130-103, victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of a first-round playoff series on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Five observations

  • The Sixers are stuck on 130 points. They scored 130 points for the second straight game.  Philly defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 130-95, in Wednesday’s regular-season finale at the Wells Fargo Center.  But the 130 points on Saturday night are most in a franchise playoff game since scoring 134 against the Washington Bullets on April 27, 1986.
  • Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and JJ Redick receive most of the credit for this season’s success. But Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova might end up being the team’s co-MVPs. The Sixers reserves were the difference in the game. Belinelli finished with 25 points and a game-high three steals. Ilyasova added 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
  • Ilyasova and Belinelli also had a hand in the Sixers setting a franchise record for the most three-pointers made in a postseason game with 18. Belinelli, Redick and Dario Saric all made four. Ilyasova had three. Robert Covington made two and Furkan Korkmaz hit one. The previous record of 11 was set on May 16, 2001, and tied on April 29, 2005.
  •  The rookie-of-the-year award ballots have been sent in, but Simmons showed why he deserves the honor on a night he kept committing turnovers and struggled to make shots.  The point guard made just 5 of 13 shots and committed a game-worst five turnovers. However, he finished with 17 points, a game-high 14 assists, nine rebounds and two steals.  Simmons became the only rookie in NBA history to have 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in a playoff game. Plus, his assists are the most by a rookie since Spud Webb had had 18 on April 19, 1986.
  • The Sixers still give up a lot of points to opposing bench players capable of heating it up. This time, they had a hard time against Kelly Olynyk. The Heat reserve post player finished with team-high 26 points while making 4 of 5 three-pointers.

“Best” and “worst” awards

  • Best performance: This was a tough one, because of Redick’s game-high 28 points.  But I had to give this to Belinelli. He was on a major reason for the outcome and graded out with a game-best plus-27.
  • Worst performance: Heat small forward Josh Richardson gets this for missing six of his seven shots en route to scoring just four points. He had a game-worst minus-30.
  • Best defensive performance: This goes to Covington, who had a game-high three steals while shutting down Heat all-star point guard Goran Dragic (15 points on 4-for-14 shooting).
  • Worst statistic: This goes to the Heat shooting 67.7 percent from the foul line (21 of 31).
  • Best statistic:  I have to give this to the Sixers making 73.3 percent of their three-pointers after intermission.