Sixers Stymie Cavs at The Q
Wrap-Up – On Friday night, it was the third quarter blues that bit the Wine and Gold once again, as Philadelphia broke open a game that was tied at intermission. The Cavaliers cut into the Sixers’ double-digit edge in the fourth period, but Philly pulled away in the closing moments to hand Cleveland the 97-87 loss – its seventh straight.
Once again without the services of their starting backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, the Cavaliers starters struggled offensively. C.J. Miles led the squad with 19 points off the bench. Tyler Zeller doubled-up with 14 points and 10 boards, but no one else on the team managed more than 10 points.
Tristan Thompson, Wayne Ellington and Shaun Livingston netted 10 points apiece, with Thompson and Ellington adding five boards apiece and Shaun Livingston leading all Cavalier starters with six assists.
Cleveland’s bench outscored Philly’s reserves – 37-13.
Turning Point – The Cavaliers relinquished their lead in the third quarter, but the game began slipping away midway through the second. With 3:49 remaining in the first half, Wayne Ellington’s finger roll put the Wine and Gold up double-figures – 41-31. But Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young keyed a 14-4 run to close the second quarter and tie the game at intermission. The Sixers opened the second half on a 19-9 run and the undermanned Cavaliers were forced to play catch-up the rest of the way.
Game Ball – C.J. Miles – The eight-year vet did all he could to get the Cavaliers back in the game – netting 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, going 3-for-4 from the floor in the final period. On the night, Miles was 7-of-11 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc – adding five boards, three assists and a blocked shot to his totals.
By the Numbers – 6 … double-doubles for Tyler Zeller this season, second among all Eastern Conference rookies. The rookie from North Carolina has now doubled-up in three of his last seven contests.
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, on his team’s mental state after dropping their seventh straight …
“I told them at the end of the game that this is a big-time test because we’re going through some adversity as far as losing. It’s going to test the type of character that we have in that locker room. It’s that simple and we’ll see if guys go south or north.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers hit the road for their final multiple-game trip of the year – a quick back-to-back starting with an Easter Sunday affair in New Orleans against the Hornets and a Monday night matchup in Atlanta. The Wine and Gold return home for a Wednesday night matchup against the Brooklyn Nets at The Q.