NEW ORLEANS — The 76ers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 111-110, Monday night at the Smoothie King Center. Here are some observations and best and worst awards:
- The Sixers still commit the same miscues and have the inability to hold onto leads as they did during their tanking days. The only difference is Monday’s roster was loaded with standouts in Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris instead of players such as Tony Wroten, Brandon Davies, Kendall Marshall and JaKarr Sampson. How else can you explain that the Sixers nearly blew a 17-point, second-half lead and committed 20 turnovers?
- Butler looks uncomfortable. For the second consecutive game, he was more of a go-with-the-flow role player instead of an I’m-going-after-your-heart assassin. Butler did score six of his 11 points in the fourth quarter and have what turned out to be the game-winning block. However, he struggled with his shooting (2-for-8) through three quarters and looked out of sorts.
- Aside from foul trouble, Jonah Bolden looked like someone the Sixers will be able to depend on. The center displayed his athleticism, touch and rim protection in the first quarter of his fourth start of the season. That was good news for a squad that’s dealing with knee injuries to All-Star center Joel Embiid and backup Boban Marjanovic.
- Best performance: Harris gets this award. The Sixers power forward finished with a game-high 29 points and added 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. He made 10 of 16 shots and went 7-for-8 from the foul line.
- Worst performance: I had to give this to E’Twaun Moore. The Pelicans reserve guard made just 4 of 12 shots, going 1-for-7 on three-pointers, and scored nine points.
- Best defensive performance: This goes to Anthony Davis. The New Orleans post player was a pest, finishing with a game-high three blocks and adding two steals.
- Worst statistic: This goes to the Sixers’ 20 turnovers, with six coming in the fourth quarter.