Cavaliers victim of terrible overturned call in 118-109 loss to Philly  
            BY TIM SHIRER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The Cleveland Cavaliers returned to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Wednesday night after completing a two team four game 3-1 road trip to improve their record to 44-27 (28-7 RMFH) and solidify their hold on the number four seed in the Eastern Conference. They welcomed in the third seeded Philadelphia 76ers (45-22, 19-12 road) who entered three games ahead of the Cavs in the East.

The Cavs and Sixers have split the season series thus far. The Cavs won in Cleveland on November 30th 113-85 and the Sixers won in Philadelphia just before the all-star break 118-112. The Sixers hold the edge all-time in the series 115-107. The Cavs however have the advantage in Cleveland (Cleveland Arena, Richfield Coliseum, RMFH) 62-48.

The Cavs celebrated Bow Tie Night to raise awareness for Neurofibromatosis and research for the diseases that effects the brain and spinal cord and the nerves between the brain and the spinal cord. It is estimated that 1 in every 3,000 people in the United States suffer from some form of the disease. Cavs Chairman Dan Gilbert’s son Nick is one of those who suffer from the disease. Nick wore his famous bow tie representing the Cavs on stage on May 17, 2011 when the Cavalier won the NBA draft lottery and earned the right to draft Kyrie Irving. In 2013, Nick represented the Cavs again on stage at the draft lottery on May 21, 2013 and once again won the lottery and earned the right to draft Anthony Bennett. Nick has courageously battled the disease his entire life he is now 26 years old. Gilbert became famous and a Cavs fan favorite after he used the phrase “What’s not to like” at the 2011 lottery.

The Cavs were still without Jarrett Allen (eye contusion) for the third straight game after he injured the eye in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in the Cavs 119-115 loss. The Cavs never had a chance as the NBA decided this game from New York with the Sixers getting the victory 118-109.

The Sixers got out to an early 8-2 lead with 9:35 left on the first quarter clock. One thing was apparent in the early going the officials were not seeing what the sold-out crowd at RMFH and Cavs players were seeing as Cleveland was called for three personal fouls in the first 2:25 of the game. The Cavs responded scoring 10 of the next 15 points to pull to within 13-12 with on a jumper by Isaac Okoro with 6:50 left on the clock in the first quarter. The Sixers responded with five straight points to run the lead to 18-12 with 5:50 remaining and the Cavs took a timeout so Cavs floor boss JB Bickerstaff could talk it over. After the Bickerstaff timeout the Cavs were able to cut the lead to five points at 27-22 when Donovan Mitchell slammed home a dunk when the 76ers turned over the ball and Mobley hit Mitchell with a long pass with 1:08 left in the first quarter. When the first quarter buzzer sounded the lead gap was still five as the Sixers led 29-24. Joel Embiid led all scorers with 15 points in the first 12 minutes. Mitchell led the Cavs with seven points. Philly outrebounded the Cavs 12-7. The Sixers turned the ball over seven times resulting in eight Cavs points otherwise the deficit would have been bigger.

The Cavs tied the game 31-31 with 9:35 left in the second quarter on a pair of free throws from swing man Caris LeVert. Cleveland then took it’s first lead of the game with 9:08 left in the first half when Darius Garland hit a free throw after the Sixers were called for an illegal defense. The lead did not last long however when with 8:55 left Shake Milton drained a layup off the glass giving Philly a 33-32 lead. The Cavs responded with 7:58 left when Cedi Osman hit a long three to give the Cavs a 35-33 lead leading the Sixers to call a timeout. The Cavs extended the lead to 47-41 with 4:42 left and Mitchell drained a technical free throw after a technical foul was accessed to the Sixers Tobias Harris. With :00.7 left on the clock in the second quarter LeVert hit a three pointer from in front of the Cavs bench and was fouled by James Harden. The foul was reviewed and was deemed a flagrant 2 foul therefore LeVert shot two free throws he made on giving the Cavaliers a 60-55 halftime lead. Embiid led all scorers with 24 points in the first half. LeVert led the Cavs with 14, Evan Mobley also had nine points and seven rebounds. The Sixers outrebounded the Cavs in the first 24 minutes 23-18. The Cavs turned 10 Philly turnovers into 13 points.

The Cavs came out with energy in the second half to add to the lead early on layup by Mobley to open the second half scoring and then a three point jumper from Mitchell with 10:48 left to give the Cavs a 10 point lead at 65-55. They were not finished as Lamar Stevens then deposited a three pointer with 10:12 left to increase the Cleveland lead to 68-55. The Sixers responded as veteran teams do and went on a 10-3 run capped off by a three point baseline basket by Harris to pull the Sixers to within five points at 70-65 with 8:04 left in the third quarter. The Sixers came all the way back an took a 71-70 lead with 5:20 left on the third quarter clock when Tyrese Maxey hit a long range three from 27 feet. The Cavs regained the lead with 2:41 left in the third when Garland hit a three putting the Cavs ahead 78-75. The Sixers regained the lead 84-83 on a buzzer beat to end the third period by Georges Niang. Embiid still led all scorers through three quarters with 31 points. Garland led the Cavs with 15 and LeVert had 14 through three quarters. The Sixers were dominating the boards 36-24.

The Cavs regained the lead with 8:26 left on the clock 96-95 on a three pointer by LeVert. However, it did not last long as the Sixers regained the lead and extended it to 100-98 with 7:21 left on a layup by P.J. Tucker. The Sixers continued to extended the lead on another three point shot by Milton with 6:45 left giving Philly a 103-98 lead. The Philly lead continued to increase with 5:19 left Embiid hit a three pointer going away to put them up 108-99. With 4:12 left on the clock and the Sixers up 108-101 Embiid elbowed Mobley in the paint drawing an offensive foul which was his sixth personal and he was expelled from the game. Sixers coach Doc Rivers known for crying a river called for a replay review that was successful calling into question the integrity of the National Basketball Association and their officials. The Cavs however responded to the blatant and unfair officiating with four straight points to cut the NBA Office 76ers lead to 110-105 with 3:13 left in the game. Cleveland despite the officiating cut the Sixers lead to 110-107 on two Osman free throws with 2:37 left in the game. The Sixers responded with a three to expand their lead to 113-107 by Maxey. Harden courtesy of the NBA office went to the free throw line two more times and extended the 76ers lead to 115-107 with :51 left on the clock. The final score was what the league office wanted as the 76ers defeated the Cavs 118-109. There is no real reason to talk about the statistics in the game as none of them matter after the blatant officiating in the game in the final minutes courtesy of the three official who will not be mentioned and the NBA replay center.

The Cavs will be in action next on Friday at RMFH when they welcome the Washington Wizards (32-37, 16-20 road) at 7:30 pm. The Cavs and Wizards have played twice this season with Cleveland winning both contests, one each in Cleveland and in Washington D.C. . 
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​POSTED 03/15/2023 22:41
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