HOUSTON — Here is my look at some of the best and worst performances from the 76ers’ 118-108 loss to the Houston Rockets on Friday night at the Toyota Center.
Best performance: I had to give this award to James Harden. The Rockets shooting guard showed why he is, once again, a candidate to win his second MVP award. He finished with a game-high 44 points to go 11 rebounds and 11 assists to post his first triple-double of the season. Harden made 13 of 24 shots, including 6 of 12 three-pointers. He also made all 12 of his foul shots.
Worst performance: This was a tough one, because the Sixers have several worthy candidates, but I gave it to Mike Scott. The Sixers reserve power forward missed all four of his shots attempts en route to being held scoreless for sixth time this season.
Best defensive performance: I know it appears crazy to give this award to a Sixer, when Harden had 44 points, Clint Capela added 30, and Russell Westbrook had 20, but Ben Simmons gets this award. The Sixers point guard was far from a defensive liability, finishing a career-high tying four blocks to go with three steals on a night he also finished with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
Worst statistic: This goes to the Sixers’ three-point shooting. They made just 6 of 27 three-pointers, or 22.2%. What happened to the team that was scorching from beyond the arc on Christmas Day? The Sixers have shot a combined 32 of 115 or 27.8% in their four losses since the Xmas victory.
Best statistic: I had to give this to Harden’s foul shooting, making all of his attempts.
Worst of the worst: I have to give this to the Sixers’ body language. Brett Brown said he liked the spirit of the group. Perhaps he was trying to paint a positive picture, because the Sixers displayed terrible body language. Their defensive effort was on par with the body language. At times, they looked more like a group of individuals than a team.