DETROIT — Whew!
The 76ers avoided another letdown thanks to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Embiid continued to show why he’s an MVP candidate and Simmons lived up to his third-team All-NBA billing in Saturday’s 114-110 victory over the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.
Here’s a look at some of the best and worst awards from the game:
This was a tough one, because Embiid had game highs of 33 points and 14 rebounds. But Simmons gets it for coming up big in clutch situations. The Sixers “facilitator” finished with a season-high 20 points to go with nine rebounds, seven assists, a game-high three steals and a block. Sixteen of his points came on 5-for-6 shooting and going 6-for-6 from the foul line in the first half. Simmons only attempted one shot after intermission. However, he hit three big foul shots late in the game to help the Sixers escape with the win.
I couldn’t avoid giving this to Matisse Thybulle. The Sixers reserve guard struggled on the night. He couldn’t get into a rhythm while accumulating five fouls. Thybulle was scoreless, missing his three shots. He also graded out at a team-worst minus-14.
Best defensive performance
Simmons gets this one for shutting down Pistons standout Jerami Grant, a former Sixer. The forward came into the contest averaging 25.1 points and shooting 46.2% from the field. He was held to 11 points on 3-for-19 shooting, including going 2-of-9 on three-pointers.
I had to give this to the Sixers reserves being outscored 22-2 in first-half bench points.
This goes to Simmons’ foul shooting shooting. He made 10 of 12.