Cavs Stomp Sixers in Cincy
Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao – two pillars of Cleveland’s recent run of success – made their first appearances of the preseason, and the Cavaliers responded accordingly, blowing out the Sixers, 111-95, on Tuesday night in Cincinnati.
Eight Cavaliers notched double-figures – including 11 points apiece for Mo and Andy – as Byron Scott’s young club improved to 5-2 with just a single game remaining before the regular season tips off next Wednesday.
“It’s good to get out there as a team in a real-time situation,” said Williams. “They gave me the go today. It’s fun to compete and to feel like a part of it.”
J.J. Hickson bounced back from a rough outing against the Russians on Saturday with a big effort on Tuesday – leading all scorers with 22 points and grabbing 11 boards, tying Varejao for the team lead. The former N.C. State standout was 11-for-16 from the field in 32 active, aggressive minutes.
“It was good to see Mo and Andy out there,” beamed Byron Scott. “I liked what I saw. We still have a ways to go, but I loved the pace that we played at and I loved what we did on the defensive end.”
Early in the second quarter, the Cavaliers found themselves down by seven, 40-33, but that’s as good as it would get for the Sixers. Sparked by Daniel Gibson and Varejao, the Cavalier proceeded to mount a 33-12 run to close the half – capped by Boobie’s tip-in of a J.J. miss at the buzzer.
In the second half, the Sixers never got within single-digits of the Cavaliers.
Gibson finished with 15 points in just 20 minutes off Byron Scott’s bench – going 6-for-8 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from long distance. Boobie led both clubs with nine assists – adding five boards and a pair of steals to continue his strong preseason run.
With Mo back in the starting lineup, Ramon Sessions came off the bench to add 12 points and has now netted double-figures in every preseason game. Jawad Williams added a dozen points of his own on an efficient 4-for-6 shooting effort and Ryan Hollins added 10 points, all in the first half.
Anthony Parker added 10 points of his own, rounding out the starters in double-figures. The only starter who didn’t tally double-digit points was forward Jamario Moon – and he was 3-for-4 from the field. That’s the kind of night it was for the Wine and Gold.
With the Wild Thing back in the fold, the Cavaliers dominated Philly in the paint – 50-24. They shot 56 percent from the floor, 45 percent from long-range and 84 percent from the stripe. Cleveland committed just 14 turnovers and got a whopping 49 points from their bench.
“We will definitely play hard every night,” said Varejao. “We are going to leave our heart on the court and hopefully it works every time.”
The 66 first-half points and 111-point four-quarter output were both preseason highs.
The Sixers got almost all their production off the bench – including 17 points from Andres Nocioni and 16 from second-year guard Jrue Holiday.
While two Cavaliers made their return on Tuesday night, two more sat the victory out. Joey Graham sat out with a right quad contusion and Antawn Jamison continued to rest the right knee he injured last Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
The Cavaliers will now head to Columbus, where they’ll wrap up the 2010-11 exhibition season with a matchup against the Bucks on Thursday night. Six days later, they open the season against the Eastern Conference Champs to The Q.