MIAMI — Here are my main takeaways and best and worst awards from the 76ers' 124-114 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday night at American Airlines Arena.
– The Sixers might regret not picking up Furkan Korkmaz's third-year option. The second-year guard saw action in the second straight game, with the team being undermanned until the trade for Jimmy Butler was finalized. Korkmaz made the most of the opportunity, displaying his three-point marksmanship in consecutive career-high scoring performances.
– T.J. McConnell, Landry Shamet and now Korkmaz are all better offensive options than Markelle Fultz. That's part of the reason Shamet replaced Fultz in the starting lineup at the start of the second half.
– While he's limited as a shooter, Fultz continues to show improvement on the defensive end. He also did a solid job of running the offense, with five assists and zero turnovers.
– Joel Embiid is perfecting "Bully Ball." He, once again, practically lived at the foul line and got the opposing team's big man in foul trouble. This time, it was Hassan Whiteside.
Best and worst
Best performance: This was an easy one. I gave it to Embiid after the Sixers center finished with game highs of 35 points and 18 rebounds. He also made 16 of 20 foul shots.
Worst performance: This was tough, because McConnell had a team-high two steals. However, he missed all four of his shots in 14 minutes, 19 seconds of action. McConnell really didn't get opportunities to display his skill set. But his shooting and team-worst minus-15 were hard to overlook.
Best defensive performance: Miami point guard Goran Dragic gets this for his two steals and one block.
Worst statistic: This goes Whiteside for attempting only two shots, both misses, after the first quarter.
Best statistic: This goes to the Sixers' committing just 10 turnovers.
Worst of the worst: Fultz's foul shots with 6:09 left in the first half. He nearly hit himself on the head before double-clutching on the free-throw attempts. He made the first and missed the second. The Sixers said his shooting improved this summer. However, it's actually regressed.