DENVER – My look at some of the best and worst performances from the 76ers' 124-122 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night at the Pepsi Center:
Best performance: This was a tough one, because three Sixers –T.J. McConnell, Ersan Ilyasova and Joel Embiid – all deserved it. But after a long back and forth, I decided to give it McConnell. Yes, I know Embiid scored five of the Sixers' final seven points. However, he did have a game-high five turnovers. Meanwhile, McConnell kept saving the day with big shots in the fourth quarter. ignited his squad in the fourth quarter. He scored 13 of his season-high 17 points in that quarter. The point guard also finished with a game-high eight assists to go with two turnovers in a game-high 35 minutes, 54 seconds. He attempted – and made – all three of his three-pointers in the fourth. His last lone gave the Sixers a 117-113 lead with 1 minutes, 22 seconds left.
Worst performance: I had to give this to Nuggets rookie Jamal Murray. The reserve guard was a non-factor in this game after having a solid game in the teams' previous series meeting. Murray was held scoreless after missing both of his shot attempts in 12 minutes, 2 seconds on the court.
Best defensive performance: Embiid gets this one. He finished with game highs of three blocks and two steals. The Sixers center's best defensive play came on a clutch block on Nikola Jokic with 18.9 seconds remaining with his team clinging to a one-point lead. Embiid also finished with 23 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Best performance by a Nugget: This goes to Jokic. The center finished with a game-high 25 points while making 9 of 13 shots. Fourteen of his points came in the first quarter.
Worst statistic: This goes to Denver scoring just nine fast-break points. The Nuggets pushed tempo at time, They just couldn't convert.
Best statistic: This goes to the Sixers three-point shooting. They made 16 of 33 three-pointers for 48.5 percent.