KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Here is my look at some of the best and worst performances from the 76ers’ 132-130 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night at the VISA Athletic Center inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Best performance: This was a tough one, just because of Shake Milton’s go-ahead three-pointer with 7.2 seconds left and Joel Embiid’s solid passing and team-high 27 points.
But DeMar DeRozan was the best player on the floor even in a loss. The worst thing he did was feeding Jakob Poeltl instead of forcing a shot late in the game. While it was the right decision under normal circumstances, Poeltl missed a 3-footer with 2.4 seconds left, and the Spurs lost the game. DeRozan, however, was tough to stop, finishing with a game-high 30 points on 11-for-20 shooting and making all seven of his foul shots. He also had 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal.
Worst performance: This was another tough one. But I gave it to Ben Simmons despite his shooting 4-for-6 en route to scoring 8 points to go along with five assists. He received this for never fully being able to get into a flow because of foul trouble. Simmons fouled out with 2:12 remaining. Maybe it was the foul trouble or not being the primary ballhandler, but the Simmons we’re accustomed to seeing wasn’t on the court Monday night.
Best defensive performance: This goes to DeRozan, who impacted both ends of the floor.
Worst statistic: This goes to the Spurs’ shooting 32% (8-for-25) in the third quarter.
Best statistic: This goes to the Spurs’ shooting 71.4% (15 -for-21) in the fourth quarter.
Worst of the worst: I’m giving this to the Sixers’ fourth-quarter defense. It was non-existent for the second straight game. Not only did the Spurs shoot 71.4%, but they also torched the Sixers for 43 points in the quarter. This after the Pacers scored 46 fourth-quarter points against them on Saturday.