For the first time this season, the Philadelphia 76ers were on a losing streak. Luckily for them, the beat-up Cleveland Cavaliers came next on the schedule and the 76ers bounced back from two straight losses with a pretty easy 99-84 victory.
The Cavs, missing rookie sensation Kyrie Irving (concussion) and big-man Anderson Varajeo (broken wrist), needed to play a near perfect game to compete with the 76ers, and that didn’t happen. However, the true difference in the game came down to the play of both teams in the second quarter. The 76ers simply scored at will in the period, outscoring the Cavs 37-22.
Leading the way for the 76ers was Jrue Holiday with 20 points, five assists and more importantly, zero turnovers. Holiday turned the ball over five times last night in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, including a couple in the final minutes of the game. The 76ers, who pride themselves on not turning the ball over, only committed six turnovers tonight against the Cavs, after back-to-back games with ten turnovers.
Five other players joined Holiday in double figures, including a combined 50 points off the bench from Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Nikola Vucevic. The “Night Crew”, as they have been nicknamed, shot 20 of 40 from the field and gave the 76ers a chance to rest some of the starters for long stretches throughout the game.
Missing their leading scorer, the Cavaliers shot just 37% from the field and an even worse 21% from three point land. Antwan Jamison led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Ramon Sessions poured in 19 points and 8 assists. Believe it or not, the Cavaliers out-rebounded the 76ers 52-40, including 14 offensive boards–all without the league’s fourth leading rebounder in Varajeo. Over the last five games, the 76ers have been getting torched on the offensive glass, allowing 14.8 offensive rebounds to opponents. In general, their rebound per game differential of -1.6 is unhealthy and Elton Brand/Spencer Hawes need to get healthy.
Philadelphia (19-9, 1st in Atlantic Division) will travel to play the NBA-worst Charlotte Bobcats on Monday. After playing 13 of their last 15 games at the Wells Fargo Center, the game in Cleveland was the unofficial start of a eight game stretch that has the 76ers playing seven games away from home. Only the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, and Utah Jazz have played less road games than the 76ers. The 76ers are 6-4 on the road, with five of those wins coming against teams below .500.
About the Author
Written by Mike Rapine
Graduated last year from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Mathematics with a focus in Statistics. I was a member of their baseball team and overall have a sense of sports from not just the average fan's perspective. Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where we fall in love with our sports teams each year, despite the preconceptions of a playoff demise ultimately happening. Obviously, any opinions are personal in nature and should be taken as my own.