Sixers Top Shorthanded Cavaliers
David Liam Kyle
Already down the starting backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Anthony Parker, the Cavaliers got word – just hours before Saturday’s contest – that Anderson Varejao would be on the shelf indefinitely after suffering a non-displaced fracture of his right wrist one night earlier against Milwaukee.
The bad news took the wind out of the Cavaliers – evidenced in the second quarter as the Sixers went on an 18-4 run to start the period, essentially putting the game on ice early. The Wine and Gold couldn’t cut Philly’s lead to single-digits in the third and didn’t get closer than 15 in the fourth.
“I kind of expected that just watching guys in the locker room when Andy was there,” said Coach Scott. “Like I told the guys, this is the NBA, guys get hurt. It provides opportunities for other guys and you just have to be ready to play. Hopefully, we’ll get over this little hangover tonight and be ready to play Wednesday.”
Coming off a 34-point performance one night earlier, Antawn Jamison led the Wine and Gold with 20 points on an even 8-for-16 shooting, adding eight boards before getting the fourth quarter off.
Ramon Sessions, getting his third straight start in place of Kyrie Irving – who suffered a concussion against Miami on Wednesday night – stayed strong with 19 points and a game-high eight assists.
“This is our fourth game in five nights, but no one is going to feel sorry for us,” said Sessions. “Losing Andy was tough, but the rest of the guys have to step up.”
The only other Cavalier to notch double-figures was Alonzo Gee, who came off the bench to tally 17 points and six boards, going 4-for-8 from the floor and 9-for-10 from the stripe.
Cleveland outrebounded the Sixers and matched them from the stripe, but the Cavaliers shot just 37 from the floor as a team while Philly boasted six double-figure scorers and got 50 points from their bench.
The Cavaliers get a couple days off before their homestand continues on Wednesday when they welcome the Pacers to The Q.