Cavs Drop Sixers in Columbus
Before Monday night’s contest in Columbus, Coach Mike Brown talked about wanting to see his starters in the fourth quarter. That turned out to be bad news for the Sixers.
Early in the final period, Philadelphia took their first lead of the night on a Tony Wroten free throw. The Cavaliers youngsters bounced back to re-take the lead and the starters made it stick – using a late 16-3 run to run away with the 104-93 win at the Schottenstein Center.
The Cavs Class of 2011 stole the show on Monday.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 17 points on an efficient 6-of-10 shooting, leading everyone with 12 assists. (Irving and Jermaine Taylor combined for 18 helpers – two less than the Sixers had as a team.)
“(At the) end of the first half, we got kind of stagnant,” said Irving. “But coming out of halftime I feel like we picked up the defensive pressure, got some shots to go down and our bigs were setting good screens to get me open and we started knocking down shots.”
Tristan Thompson was just as good – doubling-up with 15 points and 16 boards to go with two steals and a pair of blocked shots. The third-year forward from Texas went 7-for-11 from the floor.
Already down Andrew Bynum, Jarrett Jack, Tyler Zeller and Carrick Felix, Cleveland rested starters Dion Waiters and Earl Clark. It didn’t affect them early, as the Cavaliers ran out to a 31-19 edge after one period.
The Sixers continued to cut into Cleveland’s lead and trailed by just a deuce after three quarters. But it was all Wine and Gold in the final quarter.
In the fourth, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett and Alonzo Gee were a combined 9-of-11 from the floor – with Gee going 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. The Cavs shot 62 percent in the period (to Philadelphia’s 33) and Irving assisted on five of Cleveland’s 13 field goals to wrap up the win.
“We felt that our guys came out in the second half and kept the game simple,” said Coach Brown. “They kept it simple, defensively. They kept it simple, offensively, and it resulted in some good things.”
On the night, the Cavs held the Sixers to just 35 percent shooting – the third time this preseason they’ve limited a team to under 40 percent from the floor.
Four Cavalier starters finished in double-figures, including Alonzo Gee – who went 4-for-6 from long-distance to finish with 14 points, adding two assists and a team-high three steals. C.J. Miles, who started in place of Dion Waiters, added a dozen points.
Off the bench, Training Camp invitee Henry Sims was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor, netting 14 points and five boards. For the preseason, the former Georgetown standout is shooting a team-best 68 percent (17-of-25) from the field – 81 percent (17-of-21) over his last five contests.
Philly’s Evan Turner – in his return to Columbus – notched 14 points and was one of five Sixers in double-figures. Spencer Hawes doubled-up with 17 points and 12 boards.
The Cavaliers – who are now 4-2 with the win -- travel to Cincinnati for a Wednesday matchup with the Wizards before wrapping up the preseason on Thursday night in Charlotte.