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The Cavaliers got a couple of their title-winning veterans – Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova – back on Thursday night. And while it gave them a nice lift to start the game, it wasn’t enough for four quarters.
The Wine & Gold came out of the gate on fire – drilling their first five shots and handing out 16 assists on their first 16 makes – but they began to fade after intermission, allowing Philly to pull away and get a win in the season series, dropping Cleveland, 114-94, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Love, who’d appeared in just four games so far this season, was red-hot to start the game – canning his first three shot attempts and finishing with 13 points after one quarter.
But that’s about as good as it would get for the five-time All-Star who, like the rest of the squad, never regained his rhythm after halftime – finishing with those 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-6 from deep, adding four boards and three assists.
Playing the final game of a six-game trip, and their 10th without All-Star center Joel Embiid, Philly was led by their second unit.
Shake Milton led both squads with 27 points, going 10-for-14 from the floor, including 5-of-7 from long-range, adding five boards, and four assists in 27 minutes off the bench. Dwight Howard was almost as effective, finishing with a season-high 18 points and a game-high 15 boards in 26 minutes of work.
Overall, Philly’s bench outscored Cleveland’s second unit, 65-26.
The Cavaliers were led by Collin Sexton, who finished with 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor and 9-of-9 from the line, adding three boards, three assists and a pair of steals.
Dean Wade followed up with 16 points, going 6-of-14 from the floor and 3-of-11 from beyond the arc, grabbing a team-high eight boards along with three assists and a steal.
Isaiah Hartenstein, in just his second game with the Wine & Gold, rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures – chipping in with 12 points in 20 minutes off the bench, going 5-of-9 from the floor to go with five boards and a pair of blocks.
Miss any of the action? Find all the highlights and photos in the Game Tracker.
Cedi Osman lobs a pass upstairs to a leaping Isaiah Hartenstein who catches and throws down the ally-oop jam in the first quarter.
Once again, the third quarter proved to be the young Cavaliers bugaboo.
The Cavs trailed by only a deuce at intermission, 58-56, but couldn’t replicate that energy after half – beginning with the third-quarter blues that saw them hit just seven field goals, none in six attempts from long-range.
While the Wine & Gold cooled off in the third, Philly heated up. Cleveland tied the game at 58-apiece on Collin Sexton’s two free throws, but the Sixers proceeded to run off 10 straight points to take a double-digit lead.
They led by a dozen after three quarters and the Cavs never got to within single figures again.
By the Numbers - 11.0 … points that sophomore forward Dean Wade is averaging over his last seven games – shooting .475 from the floor and .361 from long-range over that stretch, with five games in double-figures.
"In the first half, we came out with a ton of energy. There was a lot of ball-movement, body-movement. Defensively, I thought we did a good job, even though the hurt us on the offensive boards. But I thought we did a good job defensively overall. In the second half, they outworked us, they made shots. We didn’t have the same gas, the same fuel that we had in the first half – and they took advantage of it."
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.
After returning home for Thursday’s matchup with Philly, the Wine & Gold get right back on the road for three – beginning with their Eastern Conference house of horrors on Saturday night, heading to Miami, where they’ve dropped 19 straight dating back to January 2010.
On Monday night, Cleveland travels to San Antonio for a meeting with the Spurs before closing out the mini-trip next Thursday night against the Thunder in Oklahoma City.
The Cavs return home for a Saturday-Sunday back-to-back the following weekend – welcoming Toronto and the Pelicans to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.