Sixers-Blazers best and worst: Damian Lillard’s dominance, James Ennis III’s defense, Furkan Korkmaz’s game-winner
Korkmaz's game-winner was by far the biggest shot in the third-year guard’s career and the biggest shot of the Sixers early season.
PORTLAND – Here is my look at some of the best and worst performances from the 76ers’ 129-128 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday night at the Moda Center.
Best performance: It would have been criminal to give it to anyone other than Damian Lillard even in a loss. The Blazers guard showed why he’s one of the league’s elite players, finishing with a game-high 33 points while making 8 of 11 three-pointers. Lillard also had nine assists, five rebounds, and two steals in 39 minutes, 4 seconds of action. His only negative was his game-worst seven turnovers.
Worst performance: This was a tough one. But it goes to Anthony Tolliver since I have to give it to someone. Tolliver got the start at center and was basically the invisible man on the defensive end in the paint. The Sixers scored most of their points in that paint. He also finished with eight points on 2-for-6 shooting.
Best defensive performance: This award goes to James Ennis III. The Sixers reserve swingman finished with a game-high three steals. They were actually his first three steals of the season. Two of them came during key moments in the fourth quarter.
Worst statistic: I had to give it to the Blazers’ turnovers. Portland turned the ball over 18 times, leading to 24 points by the Sixers. Thirteen of those turnovers came in the second half.
Best statistic: This goes to Lillard making all six of his three-point attempts in the second half.
Worst of the Worst: I had to give this to the Sixers’ trailing by 21 points in the third quarter. They looked like a team that desperately missed Joel Embiid, who was serving the first game of a two-game suspension. Lillard had just hit a 25-foot pull-up three-pointer to put the Blazers up 93-72 with 5:04 left in the third. The Sixers looked like a team with no answers.
Best of the Best: This goes to Furkan Korkmaz’s game-winning shot with .4 second left to play. The Sixers reserve guard buried a wide-open 24-foot corner three-pointer after receiving an inbounds pass from Ben Simmons. This was by far the biggest shot in the third-year guard’s career and the biggest shot of the Sixer’s early season.