HOUSTON – Here is my look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from the Houston Rockets' 115-88 victory over the 76ers at the Toyota Center on Monday.
Best performance: Only a fool would give this award to anyone not named James Harden. Yes, he was simply that dominating. The Rockets point guard had game highs of 33 points and nine assists to go with seven rebounds and one steal. He also had five turnovers on this night. But his dominating in other areas far outweighed those turnovers. His 23 points in the first-quarter on 8-for-8 shooting were three shy of matching the Sixers' team total.
Worst performance: I had to give this award to Jahlil Okafor. The reserve center struggled through 2-for-11 shooting to finish with four points. He missed eight straight shots after converting his first attempt of the game. Okafor also graded out with a minus 21.
Best defensive performance: Trevor Ariza gets this award. The Rockets small forward finished with three steals and one block. He ripped the ball out of Hollis Thompson's arms on one defensive play and passed it to a streaking Harden, who scored a breakaway dunk. Ariza also finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Best performance by a Sixer: Joel Embiid receives this. The rookie center finished with a co-team-high 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds to go with one assist, one steal and six turnovers. Even with those turnovers, he was the best Sixer on the floor. Nine of his points came in the first quarter.
Worst statistic: This award goes to the Sixers three-point shooting. The made just 5 of 22 threes, shooting 22.7 percent.
Best statistic: This award goes the Sixers foul shooting. This was perhaps the only thing they did well. They made 15 of 17 attempts for 88.2 percent.
Worst of the Worst: You have to give this to the Sixers' effort. They basically threw in the towel when things started to get tough and the Rockets built a commanding lead. They looked disinterested.