Here are my key takeaways and "best" and "worst" awards from the 76ers' 119-109 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Ben Simmons is literally getting better each game. The point guard is starting show that he can make outside shots, and no one has been able to stop him from getting to the rim.
Joel Embiid's is no longer a turnover waiting to happen against double teams in the post. The center does a better job of passing out of those situations and is more careful with the ball. That led to his season-low two turnovers. He averaged 4.5 in his first four games, and had two matchups in which he committed seven turnovers.
The Sixers are doing a better job of closing out games. They basically put the game away with a 13-4 run midway through the fourth quarter. That's a good sign for a squad known for falling apart in fourth quarters.
J.J. Redick needs to get his rhythm back. The Sixers shooting guard looked like someone who came back, perhaps, a game too early after missing the previous two matchups with lower-back tightness. One of the league's top three-point shooters, Redick misfired on his first five threes before making his final attempt with 2 minutes, 54 seconds remaining.
The Sixers must improve their foul shooting if they expect to beat elite teams. They made only 14 of 25 attempts (56 percent) against the Hawks. The Sixers rank a distant last in the league in that category at 67.3 percent.
“Best” and “Worst” awards
Best performance: As well as Simmons played, this award has to go to Embiid. That's because the center took over the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of his 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting. He also grabbed five of his 12 rebounds in the quarter. Embiid finished with a game-high three blocks to go with a team-high three steals and six assists.
Worst performance: Marco Belinelli, the Hawks reserve guard, had to have a big offensive game for Atlanta to have a chance to win this matchup. It didn't happen. He finished with eight points on 2-for-11 shooting, including just 1 of 7 on three-pointers.
Best defensive performance: Embiid was the obvious choice with the three blocks and three steals.
Worst statistic: This goes to Dario Saric for shooting 1 for 9 from the field. The Sixers power forward missed his first two shots before scoring on a 27-foot three-pointer with 8:42 left in the first quarter. That was his lone shooting highlight, as he missed his final six attempts.
Best statistic: This goes to the Sixers' 36 assists on 46 made shots. They had great ball movement against the Hawks.
Worst of the worst: I had to give this to the Hawks' fourth-quarter performance. Atlanta made 25 percent (5-for-20) of its shots, including 16.7 percent (1 of 6) of its three-pointers, in the final 12 minutes. The Hawks also committed six costly turnovers.