Shorthanded Cavaliers humiliate 76ers 113-85  
            BY TIM SHIRER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - Wednesday night at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse the Cleveland Cavaliers continued to be shorthanded not having the services of starting center Jarrett Allen (back) and sixth man Kevin Love. Not that it is ever a good situation to be without those two big men, but it makes things even more difficult that the Cavs opponent was the Philadelphia 76ers and Joel Embiid who returned on Monday to the lineup after missing four games. The Cavs made the necessary adjustments without Allen and Love and cruised to a 113-85 dominating win over the Sixers to move to 14-8 on the year.

The Sixers quickly jumped out to a 9-2 lead with 2:38 gone on the first quarter clock when De’Anthony Melton drained a 23-foot jumper. The shorthanded Cavs were having none of that as they scored the next 12 points to take a 12-9 lead when Donovan Mitchell hit a long three pointer with 6:56 left in the first quarter. Mamadi Diakite starting tonight also had a three-point shot in the 12-0 run. After a timeout by the Sixers and a missed technical free throw by Joel Embiid the Cavs continued the run before Embiid hit a jumper with 3:59 left closing the Cavs lead to 16-11. Philly closed the gap to 18-15 with 2:40 left in the first when Furkan Korkmaz drove to the basket from the corner and laid the ball in the basket. The Sixers regained the lead at 19-18 with 1:35 left on the clock on a layup by Paul Reed. Over the next minute the lead changed hands three times with the Cavs taking the final lead of the quarter 25-21 when the clock ran out on the period. Evan Mobley led all scorers with six points, three Sixers had four points Embiid, Reed, and Melton. The Sixers outrebounded the Cavs 10-7 in the first period. The Cavs converted five Sixers turnovers into six points.

The Cavs quickly scored the first seven points of the second period to take a 32-21 lead with 10;49 on the clock after Cedi Osman poured in a layup and then hit a free throw when he was fouled on the play. The Cavs built the lead to 43-30 with 7:44 left when Isaac Okoro drained a three on a pass from Caris LeVert. Cleveland continued to score and force a Philadelphia timeout with 6:59 left in the first half after a fast break slam dunk by Mobley to extend the lead to 47-32. With 5:17 left in the period Embiid was in a bad mood and was charged with a technical foul which Mitchell converted into points hitting the tech and then a three-point shot giving Cleveland a 55-35 lead with 5:04 left in the second period. The Cavs then took their biggest lead of the first half with 4:11 left when Mitchell threw down another three to give Cleveland a 60-39 lead. The Cavs then matched the 21-point advantage with just :08 left in the half when Mobley slammed the ball home giving the Cavs a 69-48 halftime advantage. The Cavs dominated the boards in the second quarter outhustling Philly 11-1 to take a 18-11 lead on the boards into the break. Philly had just one board in the second quarter. Cleveland shot 66% (8 of 12) from 3-point range in the first half while Philly shot only 21% (3 of 14). The Cavs shot a scorching 73% (27 of 37) from the field overall while Philly shot 44% (18 of 41). Cleveland also outperformed the Sixers from the charity stripe 88% (7 of 8) to 82 (9 of 11).

The Cavs have struggled also season coming out of the halftime break. That was not the case in this contest after neither team scored for the first 1:52 of the second half the Cavs scored nine points over the next 1:04 to extend the lead to 30 points at 78-48 on the third three in the 1:04 span when Garland drained it forcing 76ers coach Doc Rivers to take a timeout. With 5:56 left in the third Philadelphia continued trying to make a dent in the Cavs advantage but were not having a lot of luck as the Cavs led 82-53. After a Cavs timeout they turned the ball over and the Sixers took advantage when Danuel House, Jr. hit a jumper to cut the Cleveland lead to 82-55 with 5:30 left and then to 82-57 with 3:59 left when Shake Milton drained a jumper. The Cavs held off a late run in the third quarter by Philadelphia to win the quarter and increase their halftime lead from 21 points to 24 at 90-66 when the third quarter clock ran out after Osman dropped in a layup his sixth points of the night. Mitchell led the Cavs with 18 through three quarters. Embiid led everyone in the game with 19.

The Cavs finished the 76ers off with 8:45 left in the game when Garland lobbed a perfect ally-oop pass to Okoro who slammed the ball home and sent RMFH into a frenzy forcing a Philly timeout and giving the Cavs a 97-70 lead. Rivers threw in the towel a couple minutes later making mass substitutions and Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff followed clearing his shortened bench. LeVert led all scorers in the game with 22. Garland had 21, Mitchell had 18 followed by 16 from Mobley. Mobley also had a game high eight boards while the Cavs as a team pulled down 40. Outrebounded the Sixers 40-30. Embiid led the Sixers in a losing effort with 19 points. Garland had nine assists falling one short of a double double. Okoro also in double figures finishing with 11 points in the 113-85 victory. The Cavs are now 9-1 at home with their only loss to Minnesota.

The Cavs will be back in action at RMFS on Friday night when they host the Orlando Magic. This will be the Magic’s second visit to Cleveland this season. The Cavaliers were victorious 103-92 on October 26. 
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​POSTED 11/30/2022 21:34
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Cavs guard Darius Garland.                 Photo by Tommy Shirer