Defense Rules the Day

by Lauren Rosen

Ask the 76ers about their 114-95 win Sunday in Cleveland, and you’ll get similar answers across the board.

Defense fuels offense.

“We understand offense will come as long as our defense is holding up,” said Trey Burke (5 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast) said. “As long as we’re doing what we need to do on that end of the court, we’re going to get out in transition and get easy buckets.”

And hold up the Sixers' defense sure did, as they held Cleveland to just 37.8% from the field and 24.0% from deep.

“We [needed] to come ready, and overall have a great game with our energy through our defense - and use that to fuel offense, and everything else,” Tobias Harris (27 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk) said.

Brett Brown agreed.

“They came out with a sense of urgency,” Brown said. “I thought that the defense paved the way for our offense.”

“I thought defensively tonight, they came out with a sting.”

Now, back home in Philadelphia to play three straight, the team will look to keep that same defensive intensity alive.

Still undefeated at The Center (4-0), the Sixers hold opponents to an average of 97.8 points at home (no. 2 in NBA). Only two other teams in the league limit opponents to below 100 points at home -- the Lakers and Clippers. 

Opponents visiting the Center are shooting 41.3% overall, the third lowest mark in the league.

The Sixers are also the best rebounding team in the league at home (53.3 rpg).

More good news: The Sixers play 13 of their next 18 contests on that home floor.

“How can that not be just fantastic?” Brown said of the upcoming stretch. “Philadelphia crowds, our home court, our home fans, there is a uniqueness about that building and them.”

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