INDIANAPOLIS – Here are my main takeaways and best and worst awards from the 76ers' 100-94 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse:
– Markelle Fultz will make you cringe then sing his praises on the ensuing possession. The guard committed a turnover on a bad entry pass to Ben Simmons on the Sixers' first possession. However, he responded three seconds later by leaping and stealing the ball from former Sixer Thad Young.
– Myles Turner can't guard Joel Embiid. The All-Star did whatever he wanted against the Pacers center. Embiid used his quick first step to blow by him. He also overpowered Turner while posting up.
– The Sixers are hard to figure out. On a night when they were expected to get blown out, the Sixers showed why they were a preseason favorite to reach the Eastern Conference. But this came one game after they were routed by the Brooklyn Nets.
– The Sixers remain a welcomed opponent for elite players. Victor Oladipo was the latest standout to do whatever he wanted against the team's revamped defense, scoring 36 points. Chicago's Zach LaVine (30 points), Orlando's Evan Fournier (31), Detroit's Blake Griffin (50, first game; 38, second game), Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo (32), Charlotte's Kemba Walker (37), and Toronto's Kawhi Leonard (31) also have scored at least 30 against them.
Best performance: This was a tough one, because Simmons was two assists shy of a triple-double. But I had to give it to Dario Saric. The Sixers hope he snapped his shooting slump by making 4 of 6 three-pointers and scoring 18 points.
Worst performance: Darren Collison gets this. The Pacers point guard failed to score and missed all three of his shots. He also had just one assist and graded out at a minus-17.
Best defensive performance: Embiid gets this for his game-high three blocked shots to go with a steal.
Worst statistic: This goes to the Embiid's five turnovers.
Best statistic: Saric's three-point shooting.