Sixers-Magic observations, best and worst awards: Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, another blown double-digit lead
The Sixers defense was terrible all night.
ORLANDO — Here are my main takeaways and best and worst awards from the 76ers' 111-106 loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night at Amway Center.
– Jimmy Butler was very deferential. He did not come into the game saying, "I'm going to come in here and establish myself as the alpha dog" right away. He was a little bit more aggressive and more of a vocal leader in the fourth quarter.
– Joel Embiid played an interesting game in that he was on the perimeter for most of it. That was mind-boggling considering he dominated recent games by playing "bully ball" on the block.
– The Sixers defense was terrible. The Magic were able to get any shot they wanted with little, if any, resistance.
– It's not surprising that the Magic battled back from a 16-point, fourth-quarter deficit when you look at the guard lineup the Sixers used at the start of the quarter. Markelle Fultz, JJ Redick and Furkan Korkmaz were at a huge disadvantage. And as expected, they provided little resistance as a group.
– The Sixers should have played T.J. McConnell. On a night when they struggled to make perimeter stops, the gritty reserve point guard could have provided a defensive spark.
Best and worst
Best performance: I had to give this to Terrence Ross even though Magic center Nik Vucevic had a game-high 30 points and Embiid recorded his first triple-double. Ross scored 15 points and made 3 of 5 three-pointers. His biggest shot gave the Magic a 109-106 advantage with 8.7 seconds left.
Worst performance: This goes to Evan Fournier. The Magic shooting guard had nine points on 4-for-12 shooting. He missed 4 of 5 three-pointers and had four turnovers.
Best defensive performance: Magic power forward Aaron Gordon gets this for his two blocks and a steal.
Worst statistic: This goes to the Sixers' shooting 38.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
Best statistic: This goes to the Magic's making all seven of their shots and all four of their free throws during their 21-0 fourth-quarter run.
Worst of the worst: The Sixers surrendered another double-digit lead. This is becoming routine.