Sixers Pull Past Scrappy Cavs in Philly

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Wrap-Up -- On Tuesday night, the shorthanded Cavaliers weren’t able to get their second win of the season over the high-profile Sixers on their home floor. But Brett Brown’s squad knew it was in a dogfight.

One night after thumping the Raptors at The Q, the Wine & Gold – going with nine healthy bodies – gave Playoff-bound Philly all it could handle at Wells Fargo Arena before running out of steam late and dropping the 106-99 decision.

Playing without Tristan Thompson, still nursing a foot injury, Larry Nance Jr., who suffered a chest injury on Friday in Miami, Kevin Love, sitting out the second-half of the back-to-back, and Marquese Chriss, serving a one-game suspension for his Monday night melee with Serge Ibaka, the Cavaliers fell behind by 16 points in the first quarter.

But instead of folding in a hostile environment on the second night of a back-to-back, the Wine & Gold clawed their way back in the second quarter, taking a one-point lead before the Sixers answered with a run of their own.

Cleveland stayed with the Sixers through the third quarter before falling behind by double-digits again midway through the fourth. But Larry Drew’s squad was undaunted – rallying back to take another one-point lead with just under three minutes to play.

But Mike Scott gave Philly the lead back on its next possession and Joel Embiid took over in the final moments – dominating the glass and scoring the game’s final six points to seal the deal.

The Cavaliers were a tough out on Tuesday, but their size disadvantage was too much to overcome. The Sixers outrebounded Cleveland, 60-37, were outscored in the paint, 64-48, and in second-chance scoring, 15-9.

Five Cavaliers tallied double-figures in the loss – led once again by the red-hot Collin Sexton, who finished with 26 points on 11-for-20 shooting, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc to go with a pair of boards.

Ante Zizic

Ante Zizic records his 16th double-digit scoring game of the season.

Cedi Osman had his second straight solid performance – following up with 18 points, going 7-of-19 from the floor, including 4-of-9 from long-range, adding a team-high eight rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.

Jordan Clarkson notched his 58th outing in double-figures off the bench, although he struggled from the floor – chipping in with 13 points and five boards, despite going just 5-for-20 from the floor, taking the collar in eight attempts from three-point range.

Ante Zizic registered 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting, adding five boards and a pair of assists.

Brandon Knight was the fifth Cavalier in double-figures – finishing with 11 points, five boards, two steals and a block.

The Sixers got double-double performances from both Ben Simmons – who led Philly with 26 points to go with 10 boards and eight assists – and Joel Embiid – who netted eight of his 17 points and 10 of his game-high 19 boards in the fourth quarter.

Turning Point -- For as close as Tuesday’s meeting was all night, the game only featured four lead-changes.

And in a city that’s known for pugilism, it seemed like Joel Embiid was doing the rope-a-dope through the first three quarters before establishing himself with a vengeance in the closing moments.

After Mike Scott’s triple gave Philly the lead back with 2:37 to play, the Cavaliers still had a chance. But the third-year star from Kansas simply took over the game – grabbing five boards, scoring six points and blocking an Ante Zizic layup attempt with 31 seconds to play that would have gotten Cleveland to within one.

By the Numbers27.0, .582, .579, 1.000 … Collin Sexton’s scoring average – along with his shooting percentage from the floor (32-of-55), beyond the arc (11-of-19) and from the stripe (6-6) – over his last three games.

QuotableCedi Osman, on the team’s new attitude after the All-Star Break …

”After the All-Star break I think that we gave everybody a message that we’re going to be a good team, that we’re not going to give up on anybody. Whenever we have a game, we’re going to be there to play for 48 minutes, to play tough and after All-Star break I think that we improved a lot. Also, I think that now teams are respecting us. I mean, they have to; if not, then we’re going to give some trouble.”

Up Next -- After Tuesday night’s loss in the City of Brotherly Love, the Wine & Gold’s three-game roadie heads to the Sunshine State for a Thursday night rematch with the Magic – who the Cavs dropped nine days earlier at The Q. From there, it’s a stop in Dallas to take on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Saturday night. Cleveland then returns to The Q for a three-game homestand – welcoming the Pistons on Monday followed by visits from the Bucks on Wednesday and the Clippers two nights later.

Calls of the Game