Sixers Stop Cavs in Philly

Meeks' 31 Points Sends Cavs to Fourth Straight Loss
by Joe Gabriele Managing Editor

Including Tuesday’s 18-point loss in Philly – Cleveland’s fourth straight – it feels like the schedule has been pretty tough lately. Unfortunately for the Cavs, it’s about to get a little bit tougher.

With just over three minutes to play at the Wells Fargo Center, Alonzo Gee – the Cavaliers’ most explosive dunker – was blocked on three straight attempts. The ball was kicked out to Jodie Meeks, who drilled a three-pointer – his sixth of the night.

That was about how Tuesday night went for the Cavaliers, who not only dropped the 103-85 decision to the Sixers, but got word earlier in the day that veteran guard Daniel Gibson will miss much more time than previously expected.

No offense to the Pistons, but it’ll be good for the Wine and Gold to get to Wednesday night at The Q.

Tristan Thompson’s dunk with four-and-a-half minutes to play got the Cavaliers to within 11, but they would get no closer.

Cleveland trailed by two touchdowns at intermission and didn’t crack the double-digit deficit the rest of the evening. Anthony Parker scored 11 of his team-high 14 points in the third quarter, but the Cavaliers couldn’t make a dent in the second half.

Jodie Meeks – getting the late nod because of an injured Andre Iguodala – led both teams with 31 points, going 11-for-16 from the floor, 7-of-10 from beyond the arc. Philadelphia’s backcourt combination of Meeks, Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams teamed for 61 points.

“We just need to continue to work and believe in what we are doing,” said Coach Scott. “Our biggest thing on the defensive end is a lack of communication. Guys are just not trusting one another right now and we just got to get back to it.”

The Cavaliers had five players in double-figures, led by Parker’s 5-for-7 shooting effort. Alonzo Gee and Antawn Jamison netted 13 points apiece, with Gee grabbing a team-high nine boards.

Kyrie Irving added a dozen points on 4-of-13 shooting. Irving led the Cavs with seven assists, but committed five miscues.

“We challenged them, but they’re such a good ballclub; one of the best defensive teams in the league, too,” said Irving. “I don’t think I had one uncontested layup tonight.”

Manny Harris led the second unit – scoring eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Harris – along with Donald Sloan, who finished with two points and three assists, should be getting steady minutes off Byron Scott’s bench, as the Cavaliers got word on Tuesday that an MRI and exam of Daniel Gibson’s left leg revealed a torn tendon in his foot and ankle. He’ll be sidelined for a while.

On Tuesday night, the Cavaliers shot 40 percent from the floor and committed 18 turnovers, but the most telling stat – aside from Meeks’ 31-point outburst – were points in the paint, where Philly topped the Eastern Conference-best Cavaliers, 54-24.

The schedule gets even more daunting as the Cavaliers continue with a run of five games in seven days. On Wednesday night, they face Detroit at The Q and welcome the Bucks two nights later. On Saturday, Cleveland closes out April against Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks in the Big Apple.

  • Including Tuesday night, as a starter in March, Alonzo Gee is averaging 13.2 points, 6.5 boards and 1.8 steals per contest.

  • In his first NBA incarnation, Anthony Parker’s original team was the Sixers – after being selected in the first round (21st overall) by the Nets, then traded with Jim Jackson, Eric Montross and Tim Thomas to Philly for Michael Cage, Lucious Harris, Don MacLean and Keith Van Horn. Parker’s one of the few NBA survivors from the 1997 Draft – joining Tim Duncan, Chauncey Billups, Tracy McGrady and Tony Battie, who logged eight minutes for the Sixers on Tuesday.

  • Injuries, transactions and the search for a spark have forced Byron Scott’s hand. The Cavaliers used the same starting lineup through the first 18 games of the season and 11 over the next 19.

  • Anthony Parker led the Cavaliers in scoring for the first time this season. Antawn Jamison has led the squad on 21 occasions; Kyrie Irving, 20.