Cavaliers smacked around by Sixers 128-105 
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - Through 29 games this season, the Cleveland Cavaliers had won just seven games. One of those victories came against their opponent on Sunday, the Philadelphia 76ers.

In the first meeting in late November, the Cavs secured a nine-point win with a complete team effort. Cleveland shot better than 50 percent from the field, made 11 three-pointers and had just nine turnovers in that game, even out-rebounding the Joel Embiid led Sixers.

“This Philadelphia team is a very good basketball team, and we did some really good things up in Philly our last meeting against them,” Cavs interim head coach Larry Drew said.

In the second meeting on Sunday, the Sixers got the better of the Cavs with a 128-105 victory in Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs started the game hot, taking a 44-34 lead on a Cedi Osman layup with 9:52 to play until halftime. The lead was Cleveland’s largest of the game, and it looked like they could have been on their way to their second victory over the favored Sixers this season. Philadelphia, though, immediately put together a 15-4 run, capped by a Jimmy Butler three-pointer that helped the Sixers regain the lead, 49-48.

When halftime arrived, Cleveland trailed 65-58 and Philadelphia began applying more pressure in the third quarter. When Butler converted a reverse layup four minutes into the second half, the Sixers took a double-digit advantage, 77-66, and the Cavs never fully recovered.

Jordan Clarkson tallied 18 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Osman totaled 18 points and four rebounds. Cleveland guard Matthew Dellavedova has scored in double-figures in all four games since his return to the Cavs and finished with 13 points and seven assists.

Without the defensive presence of Tristan Thompson, who missed the game with a sprained left foot, the Cavs had trouble stopping Joel Embiid. Embiid finished the game with 24 points and nine rebounds.

“First of all, he’s such a force,” Drew said about Embiid. “Size, the ability to shoot it from the three, the ability to take it off the dribble. He’s such a specimen down low in the post, you have to try to make it as tough as you can for him.

“What we’ve tried to do with him is just to get him off of his sweet spot…you just don’t see a guy that size being able to shoot the ball as well as he does from the three. Big guys are now starting to stretch it out and they’re starting to shoot it from the three, but to me where he’s most deadly is when he’s playing back to the basket and just with his size alone, if you don’t have anybody that can defend him as far as size wise, it makes it tough.”

Sixers point guard Ben Simmons was also a force, recording a triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists.

This time, it was the Sixers that shot better than 50 percent and out-rebounded the Cavs.

“Anytime they break you down off the dribble, it forces your defense to collapse,” Drew said. “And if your defense collapses, it’s going to open up the perimeter. I thought for the most part we did a good job with that our first meeting against Philadelphia.”

The Cavs will attempt to get back on track in Indiana against the Pacers on Tuesday.
 
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​POSTED 12/16/2018 17:57
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