CLEVELAND – The Cavaliers had no Kyrie Irving (strained shoulder), Dion Waiters (left knee) and Anderson Varejao (blood clot). It's no wonder why Cleveland entered its game tonight against the Sixers with a record of 22-48.
That said, Cleveland was undermanned the last time the Sixers and Cavaliers met, and still won.
However, the Sixers used a fourth-quarter push this time around to hand Cleveland its 49th loss of the season, while winning their 29th game, 97-87, Friday night.
The Sixers shot 49 percent and scored 16 points off 10 Cavalier turnovers. Defensively, they held Cleveland to 42 percent shooting and just 22 percent from three-point range.
The Sixers closed out the second quarter on an 11-2 run to even the score at 45-45 heading into halftime. They opened the third quarter with an identical 11-2 run to lead 56-47 with 8:47 still to go in the frame. The Sixers outscored the Cavaliers 11 points in the third to grab a double-digit lead entering the final stanza.
Follow the leader
Spencer Hawes is really fun to watch these days. He scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He has 17 double-doubles this season.
Thaddeus Young was 9 of 13 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds. Jrue Holiday scored 20 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter. He also handed out six assists.
Cleveland’s starting center was pretty good, as well. Tyler Zeller scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Shaun Livingston and Tristan Thompson added 10 points each, but it was C.J. Miles coming off the bench who did the most damage with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
Four of the Sixers’ starters had four assists or more. The team finished with 26 assists and committed just nine turnovers.
Take a bow
Evan Turner has had an up-and-down season, but Friday’s third quarter was a highlight. He was 5 of 7 in the third for 13 points. He finished the night with 23 points to go with 13 rebounds and four assists. It was his 13th double-double this season.
The Sixers entertain the worst team in the NBA on Saturday night when the Bobcats come to town. Charlotte is 17-54.
The Sixers have played 18 back-to-backs this season and their record on the second night is 3-15.