"Best and "Worst Awards: Sixers vs. LA Clippers
The 76ers ran up against a team that is getting in playoff mode during Friday's 119-98 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Clippers put things away with a 32-14 third quarter advantage. Here is our "Best" and "Worst" from the game.
Best performance: Clippers point guard Chris Paul showed why he is an eight-time all-star. Paul scored 25 points and added seven assists, one steal and three rebounds. He shot 9 of 15 from the field, 3 of 5 from beyond the arc and made all four free throws. Paul went wherever he wanted on the court, adeptly directing the offense.
Best effort in a losing performance: That's easy, Sixers center Nerlens Noel had a career high 30 points, shooting 12 of 17 from the field and 6 of 8 from the foul line. He also had 14 rebounds, two steals and two assists. A few times, Noel even put the ball on the floor and took it to the basket. He scored on one baseline driving dunk that showed how much progress he has made.
Best matchup: That would be Noel and DeAndre Jordan at center. Jordan (6-11, 265) has about 45 pounds on Noel and there were times he was overpowering. Jordan had 17 points and 20 rebounds.
Worst performance: There were many candidates, but the Sixers JaKarr Sampson shot just 1 for 9 from the field and scored three points in under 15 minutes. .
Best defensive performance: Clippers small forward Matt Barnes is the type of player who gets under the skin of opponents. Barnes had a game-high four steals, including three in the decisive third quarter that turned the game into a rout.
Best statistic: Even though Jordan shot 5 of 17 from the foul line, the Clippers had a better free throw percentage than the Sixers. The Clippers were 19 of 31 (61.3 percent), which meant the rest of the team shot 14 for 14. The Sixers, meanwhile, shot 15 of 27 from the line (55.6 percent).
Best Non-Noel Sixers stat: Point guard Ish Smith had 18 points and a career-high nine assists.
Fast fact: The Sixers shot just 41.9 percent from the field and are now 1-45 when failing to outshoot their opponent.
Quotable: Clippers coach Doc Rivers talking about the Sixers before the game – "They are very impressive. You look at their record and everything like that, but they play so hard, it is amazing. You get all those coach of the year candidates and it almost has to be a winning team but you look at what he (Brett Brown) has done, Brett, I think it is remarkable. When you factor in the trades and all the unrest and all the movement and then when you watch them play it doesn't look like that. You have a group of guys who have bought into a team way and a lot of them know they probably are not going to be on the team, yet they play the right way, they execute and they just compete. I watched four (recent) games and in two of them they literally just out competed the team to the ground and the other team gave in they won the game and it was really impressive to watch."
And finally: The Sixers never held a lead, the 12th time that has occurred this season.