Sixers-Knicks best and worst: James Ennis III’s savior role, Norvel Pelle’s stellar shot blocking, Mike Scott’s shooting woes continue
As good as Joel Embiid was, the Sixers would not have avoided an embarrassing loss to the Eastern Conference’s worst team without James Ennis.
NEW YORK – Here is my look at some of the best and worst performances from the 76ers’ 101-95 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Best performance: This goes to James Ennis III on a night his Sixers teammate Joel Embiid finished with game highs of 27 points and 17 rebounds. As good as those stats were, Philly would not have avoided an embarrassing loss to the Eastern Conference’s worst team without Ennis. The reserve swingman scored 18 of his season-high 20 points after intermission. He made 4 of 5 shots — including going 3-for-4 on three-pointers — while hitting all nine of his free throws. Clutch, Ennis tallied 10 of his points in the fourth quarter. He also graded out at a game-best plus-17.
Worst performance: This goes to Wayne Ellington. The Knicks reserve guard is recognized for his ability to make shots. That wasn’t the case for the former Episcopal Academy standout on this night. Ellington missed all three of his shot attempts — all three-pointers — to finish with zero points against his hometown team.
Best defensive performance: This award goes to Norvel Pelle. The Sixers rookie was a shot-blocking machine in his NBA debut. The reserve center blocked four shots in 12 minutes, 33 seconds of action. He also altered several other shots.
Worst statistic: I couldn’t avoid giving this award to Mike Scott for failing to score a point for the second consecutive game. This time, the Sixers reserve power forward missed all four of his shot attempts — all three-pointers. This came two days after missing all seven of his shots attempts, including six three-pointers, to finish with zero points.
Best statistic: This goes to the Knicks shooting 62.5% on three-pointers (5 of 8) in the first quarter.
Worst of the worst: This goes to the state of the Knicks. They have lost fifth straight and eight of their last 10 games.