"The Answer" Returns From Injury, Continues Mastery Of Cleveland
The Cavaliers have been a team of streaks this season. Coming off the blowout loss to the Heat on Thursday, they needed to come back home and stop this current losing streak at one.
They didn't play like it.
Allen Iverson continued his career dominance over the Cavaliers, scoring 34 points, dishing out 9 assists, and grabbing 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Iverson was also 14-14 from the free throw line and played 46 minutes ... leading the Sixers to a 100-95 road win over the Cavs. This was despite playing at less than 100%, and missing the past four games with ankle injuries.
The Cavs shot the ball very well in the first half, and led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter. However, sloppy play late in that half allowed Philadelphia to rally, pulling to within 52-50 at the break. The Cavs lacked intensity in the second half, and Philly started to take the game over late in the third quarter and at the outset of the fourth, eventually building a 93-84 lead with about four minutes left that they would end up hanging on to.
As they have been in most of their losses, the Cavaliers were plagued by ill-advised turnovers, poor long range shooting, and a lack of production from the bench. They committed 19 turnovers, and were just 6-23 from three point land, and got just eight points from the bench on 3-15 shooting. Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones both continue to struggle from three point range, and are at just 31% and 35% respectively on the season from downtown.
Chris Webber added 26 points and 8 rebounds for the Sixers, and hit a couple clutch buckets down the stretch. LeBron James scored 31 for the Cavs, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 26. The rest of the team combined to shoot 16-46 from the field.
The Cavaliers are off today for Super Bowl Sunday, and coach Mike Brown and his family will attend the game as guests of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who is a Detroit native. They host the Milwaukee Bucks at The Q on Monday in an important game between the two teams, who are competing for second place in the Central division and the #4 seed (and homecourt) in the East playoffs.