Team Heads Home on High Note
A win of any kind would have been nice, but a win the likes of which the 76ers earned Sunday afternoon in Cleveland? That most certainly was a performance worth building upon.
Having lost the first two games of their trip, and five in a row on the road overall, the Sixers smothered the Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, 114-95.
The final score didn't really do the Sixers' dominance justice. Before resting a couple starters down the stretch, the team was up as much as 31 points early in the third quarter.
Nonetheless, the margin of victory was still the Sixers' second-highest of the young year.
Reflecting the balance in the Sixers' attack, six players went for double-figures. Tobias Harris led the way with 27 points, his day ending with eight straight late in the final frame to secure the Sixers' win.
Harris' scoring total was his second-highest of the season, and capped a strong personal finish to the Sixers' trek. He hit 12 of his 14 shots in Sunday's matinee, while reaching 20 points for the second time in as many games.
Ben Simmons posted his fourth double-double of the season, tallying 10 points and a season-best 11 assists.
Joel Embiid and James Ennis III scored 14 points apiece. Furkan Korkmaz came off the bench for 13, and Al Horford added 11 points and seven boards.
As sharp as the Sixers were offensively - they shot 54.8%, scored 58 points in the paint, and assisted on 33 of their 46 baskets (71.7%) - their defense was terrific. With the Sixers shutting down the interior for most of Sunday's game, the Cavs managed to go just 37.8% from the floor.
Cleveland struggled even more from outside the arct, hitting a meager 24.0% clip.
Not to be lost in the one-sided affair was the specific impact that Ennis III had. The veteran sixth man checked in with seven minutes to go in Sunday's first quarter, the Sixers down one, 14-13.
He quickly nailed a corner three, hit another triple moments later, then blocked a shot and ran it back for a jam. The sequence was a huge spark, and paved the way for a 17-4 surge that punctuated the opening period.
That stretch - big as it was - was merely the precursor for a massive 44-13 run that sent the Sixers into the half with a 68-44 advantage. It was the perfect start the squad needed, and ensured they'd be heading back home on a high note.
Click here for a complete box score.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 17, 2019
Not only will the 76ers be at home their next game, but for their next three games, and nine of their next 12. Up first, the New York Knicks, which will visit South Philadelphia Wednesday. As of Sunday, New York was the only club in the Eastern Conference with double-digit losses (10).