INDIANAPOLIS — The 76ers rolled the Indiana Pacers, 120-96, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday night. Here are my main takeaways and best and worst awards:
- Joel Embiid dominates games even when he’s less than 100 percent. The All-Star center, who played despite back tightness, made a difference with just his presence alone in the first half before finding his groove.
- The Sixers quieted talk, at least for a few days, that Embiid, Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons have chemistry issues. The three stars and JJ Redick coexisted well on a night when the 76ers played great team ball.
- The Sixers’ communication was key during one of their best defensive performances. Guys were out there helping each other and making sure their teammates were in the right spots.
- Redick received a lot of praise for making 6 of 9 three-pointers en route to scoring 20 points. However, Sixers reserves Mike Muscala, Jonah Bolden and Landry Shamet showed just how competitive the Sixers can be if the trio also knocks down three-pointers. Muscala, Bolden and Shamet combined to make 7 of 10 threes in the victory.
Best performance: This was a tough one, but I gave it to Butler. The four-time All-Star scored a game-high 27 points and set the tone. He also had eight assists and a game-high three steals.
Worst performance: This goes to Bojan Bogdanovic. The Pacers small forward had a tough time guarding and making shots. Despite being known as a sharpshooter, he hit only 3 of 11 shots, including 1-for-7 on three-pointers, to finish with nine points.
Best defensive performance: Embiid gets this. He had three blocked shots, altered several other shots, and recorded a steal.
Worst statistic: Indiana’s shooting 40.2 percent from the field.