While Cleveland Cavaliers players LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are establishing new franchise records, their team is breaking league-wide marks for dominance.
After winning their NBA-record ninth straight game by 12 or more points, the Cavaliers look to continue their remarkable run as they visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
James became Cleveland's career leader in steals by swiping a pass in the opening minute of Tuesday night's game. Mark Price set the previous record of 734 steals in 582 games with Cleveland from 1986-95. James, already the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer, has played in 412 games since turning pro in 2003.
Ilgauskas joined James in the franchise record book in the second quarter, when he became the Cavs' rebounding leader. Ilgauskas, who's played his entire 11-season career with Cleveland, passed Brad Daugherty with his 5,228th rebound.
Though impressive, those records took a backseat after the Cavaliers (18-3) routed Toronto 114-94 to set an NBA record with nine straight wins by at least 12 points. They had shared the previous record of eight straight with four other teams - Portland (1990-91), Chicago (1996-97), Detroit (2003-04) and Houston (2007-08).
"That's unbelievable," James said. "Knowing the history of some of the great teams, the Chicago Bulls team that went 72-10, the Celtics teams, the Lakers teams and the Pistons teams, it's unbelievable for our franchise to accomplish something like that."
The Cavaliers don't look like they intend to slow down anytime soon. They've won 16 of their last 17 games, including their last nine by an average margin of 21.6.
"We treat everybody the same," Ilgauskas said. "We respect everybody, but we fear nobody."
There seems to be little reason to fear the 76ers (9-12), who haven't lived up to the heightened expectations that came with their offseason signing of Elton Brand.
Brand, the team's leading scorer and rebounder with 16.7 points and 10.0 boards per game, has missed the team's last two games with a strained right hamstring, but is expected to return Wednesday.
Without him, Philadelphia shot 36.4 percent from the field in a 95-84 loss to New Jersey on Saturday night. It was the team's worst shooting performance since its season-opening loss to Toronto.
The Sixers, who rank near the top of the league with 16.4 fast-break points per game, had none in the second half after scoring 11 before intermission.
"We are continuing to try to play fast basketball and we had no fast break points in the second half," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "It was disappointing because that is how we really want to play. ... (It's) a very telling thing."
The Cavaliers won two of three meetings in last season's series, including a 91-90 victory April 14 in the lone game in Philadelphia - their third straight win at the Wachovia Center.
James had 27 points and went 10-for-18 from the field in that contest. He shot 57.4 percent (31-for-54) overall against the Sixers last season.
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