The 76ers defeated the Sacramento Kings, 123-114, Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Here are some observations and best and worst awards:

Three observations

  • The Sixers unveiled a new substitution pattern against the Kings. JJ Redick, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were subbed out of the game with 5 minutes, 38 seconds left in the first quarter. That left Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris to play with reserves T.J. McConnell, Mike Scott, and Boban Marjanovic. Simmons usually stays on the floor while Butler heads to the bench. But the Sixers went to this new pairing as a way to feature him more with the ball in his hands.
  • Butler often says the Sixers play the ball the right way. This matchup was their latest example. The starters had good distribution of shoot attempts while sharing the ball. Embiid had 19 shots. Harris finished with 16 followed by Butler (14), Redick (12) and Simmons (12). This marked the second straight game and 16th time this season that all five starters finished in double figures. James Ennis III started in place of Butler (rest) on Tuesday.
  • Marjanovic doesn’t appear to show any lingering alignments from suffering a right knee bone bruise and mild sprain. He has scored in double figures in each of his two games back after being sidelined for six games. The backup center is averaging 11.5 points while making a combined 8 of 12 shots against the Cleveland Cavaliers (Tuesday) and Kings.

Best and worst awards

  • Best performance: Butler gets this award on a night he finished with game highs of 22 points, 7 assists and 2 steals to go with 6 rebounds and 1 block. He scored 14 points in the first half, with 12 coming in the second quarter. Then he split 8 points evenly between the third and fourth quarters.
  • Worst performance: I had to give this to Nemanja Bjelica. The Kings power forward, who backed out a free agent commitment to the Sixers, missed 9 of his 11 shots en route to finishing with 4 points.
  • Best defensive performance: This goes to Embiid for finishing with a game high four blocks for the second consecutive game.
  • Worst statistic: This goes to the teams combining to shoot 2-for-13 on three-pointers in the first quarter.
  • Best statistic: This goes to the Sixers committing just 11 turnovers.