Instant Replay: Sixers 94, Cavaliers 79

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Instant Replay: Sixers 94, Cavaliers 79

BOX SCORE

The Sixers stuck to their early-season script on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers with one important wrinkle.

The Sixers fell behind yet again in the first quarter before roaring back to secure a 94-79 win over the Cavs. The Sixers improved their record to 4-2 with the victory.

There was a distinct difference in the club’s defense in this game, as the Sixers held their opponents to under 100 points for the first time this season. They also allowed the Cavs to shoot just 33.3 percent from the field and recorded eight blocks in the matchup.

Andrew Bynum got a Philadelphia welcome throughout the 18 minutes he played in his return to the Wells Fargo Center, hearing boos and various chants. Bynum finished with four points and five rebounds.

Turning point
The Sixers outscored the Cavaliers, 33-19, in the third quarter to lead by 16 heading into the final 12 minutes. They shot 58 percent from the floor in the third, while holding the Cavs to 30 percent shooting. The Sixers committed just two turnovers in that period.

Follow the leader
Evan Turner continues to lead the Sixers’ offensive charge. He entered Friday night averaging 22.2 points shooting 55.1 percent from the floor.

Turner scored 22 points on 10-of-18 shooting against the Cavs. He had his first double-double of the season by adding 10 rebounds. A year ago, Turner had 14 double-doubles for the season.

Thaddeus Young had a terrific bounce-back game. After struggling Wednesday night against the Wizards, Young scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Stat-egic
Kyrie Irving has the capability of taking over a game and he went relatively unnoticed Friday night.

The All-Star point guard came into the game averaging 18 points and seven assists. Irving scored just 10 points and dished out nine assists in Friday’s loss.

Take a bow
Tony Wroten had scored double figures in four of five games before facing the Cavs. He kept that solid play going Friday by scoring 18 points in the game with 13 coming in the first half.

Wroten played 21 minutes in the win. A year ago, Wroten appeared in 35 games for Memphis and only played more than 20 minutes twice.

What’s next?
The Sixers and Cavaliers will face off again on Saturday night in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers have won their only two home games thus far. Meanwhile, the Sixers have played just once away from the Wells Fargo Center, a win over the Wizards in Washington.

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

WAYNE, Pa. — Three steps. 

That’s all it takes before Ben Simmons is recognized walking through the streets of Philadelphia. 

This year’s No. 1 pick has been in the spotlight long before the Sixers drafted him in June, and now he's experiencing what it's like to be known as an NBA player in his new city. 

“I’ve been enjoying walking around South Street, getting some Ishkabibble's,” Simmons said Tuesday after a special appearance at the Sixers' Camp at Valley Forge Military Academy. 

At 6-foot-10, Simmons towers above most on the court, let alone on the sidewalk. Fans have been eager to welcome him to Philadelphia for a new chapter of the organization after three years of struggle. 

“Positive things,” Simmons said of the comments he receives. “I think a lot of people are excited, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

Simmons understands the impact a professional athlete can have on young fans, and was excited to be at camp Tuesday.

Growing up in Australia, he never had the opportunity to hear from NBA players when he attended basketball camps. Now that he's in that position, the 20-year-old was glad to provide that memory to the 240 campers. 

“That would mean a lot if I was able to experience that,” Simmons said. 

Simmons demonstrated skill drills, such as passing fundamentals, interacted in a Q&A session and signed autographs for each camper. He also took individual photos for those who traveled internationally, including from Nigeria, Italy and Greece. 

“I’m just like them, but older,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to be a good role model to them.”

Simmons plans to spend most of the offseason in Philadelphia as he gets settled into the city. He still has to move into his new home, but at least he knows where to get a cheesesteak in the meantime. 

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that the Miami Heat have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent guard Dion Waiters.

The two sides came to agreement on Monday. Waiters will make $2.9 million. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Waiters averaged 9.8 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, but had several big games in the playoffs. He played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs before his role was reduced in the seven-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Waiters will give the Heat another scorer off the bench (see full story).

Blazers: C.J. McCullom inked to four-year extension
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A person familiar with the deal confirms that guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a four-year, $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because the deal hadn't been formally announced by the team. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

McCollum, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, averaged 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blazers during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.

As the 10th overall pick for the Blazers in the 2013 draft, McCollum bided his time on the bench for his first two seasons. He became a starter in the backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team's starters departed in the offseason (see full story).

Michael Jordan donates $2 million to ease racial tensions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is trying to help ease tension between African-Americans and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner said Monday he's giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

Jordan says in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that "as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," (see full story).

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

The Sixers continued to add to their roster Monday, announcing the signing of guard Brandon Paul. 

Paul participated on the Sixers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 19.5 minutes. He also played for the Hornets in Utah. 

The 25-year-old went undrafted out Illinois in 2013 and has been playing overseas and in the D-League since then. Last season, he led FIATC Joventut (Spain) in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Paul also has been a member of the Canton Charge (D-League) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). 

Next season he could play for the Sixers' Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Paul is one of several offseason additions for the Sixers. The team has signed Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Webb III and Shawn Long. The Sixers also have reportedly agreed to a deal with Cat Barber.