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Cavs Notes

76ers 128, Cavaliers 105: Cleveland stays close until fourth quarter, then falls apart

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    The 76ers' Ben Simmons drives on the Cavs' Alec Burks during the second half Sunday at The Q. The 76ers defeated the Cavaliers 128-105.



CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers should have pleaded the fourth.

Down just four points through three quarters, the Cavs played an abysmal fourth period and fell 128-105 to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Sixers (20-11), who led 89-85 after three, went 16-for-24 from the field and outscored Cleveland 39-20 in the fourth to avenge a 121-112 loss to the Cavs (7-23) on Nov. 23 in Philadelphia.

“They got it going,” said Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova, who had 13 points and seven assists off the bench. “They got some easy ones to get their rhythm, whether it was in transition or off rebounds. Teams like that just make you pay.”

Long-armed, 6-foot-10 point guard Ben Simmons, who had a triple-double before the third quarter ended, led the 76ers with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists, while center Joel Embiid had 24 points and nine boards in 29 minutes.

Philadelphia also got 19 points from small forward Jimmy Butler — who missed the last two games with a strained groin — 16 points in 15 minutes off the bench from sharp-shooting Landry Shamet, 14 points from shooting guard J.J. Redick and 11 points from power forward Wilson Chandler.

“I really thought that team kind of wore us down a bit,” Cleveland coach Larry Drew said. “We were trying to mix up some defenses ... but when we missed shots or took bad shots, they made shots.

“The margin for error for us in this game is very small,” he added. “Margin for error is not just a turnover. It’s a bad shot, a missed defensive assignment, it’s not getting back defensively, it’s not staying in the body of shooters. They capitalized.”

With Tristan Thompson out with a sprained foot, the Cavs started Ante Zizic at center for the first time this season. In his third career start, Zizic had seven points and two rebounds in 17 minutes.

Outside of Cedi Osman (18 points, four rebounds), none of Cleveland’s starters played particularly well, though Rodney Hood (13) and Collin Sexton (12) scored in double figures.

Cavs starters were a combined minus-114 for the game, while the bench, which got 18 points from Jordan Clarkson, nine points and five boards from David Nwaba and seven points, four rebounds and six assists from Larry Nance Jr., was minus-1.

Cleveland’s starters played 136 minutes to 142 for Philadelphia’s first unit, with the visitors holding a 90-55 edge in points, 32-11 advantage on the boards and 25-9 margin in assists.

“Defensively, I need them to be more sound,” Drew said of his starters. “We have not been a sound defensive ballclub at the start. We have not brought the physicality.”

Down seven at halftime, the Cavs fell behind by 13 in the third period and appeared to be on the verge of getting blown out, but their defense picked up at that point.

Cleveland, which was outrebounded 48-33 for the game, got back-to-back 3-pointers from Nwaba and Dellavedova to cut its deficit to one before a late three by Chandler put Philadelphia up four heading into the final quarter.

At that point, Cavs starters were a combined minus-69 and their bench players were plus-40, but things only got worse — for everyone in a Cleveland uniform — in the final 12 minutes.

A way-too-easy 11-0 run to start the fourth put the 76ers up 100-85. Philadelphia went on to score 23 points in the first six minutes of the quarter to go up 112-95 and coasted home from there.

“We got a little stagnant in the fourth quarter,” Sexton said. “We were taking bad shots.”

Asked if knew the Sixers would be ready after losing at home to Cleveland earlier in the season, the 19-year-old said, “Absolutely. They know what we’re capable of since we beat them the last time we played them. They came out ready to go.”

Down 16-9 early, the Cavs closed the first period on a 27-13 run to take a 36-29 lead. The spurt started when Dellavedova entered the game — he had four points and three assists in the quarter — and came despite Zizic, Nance, Hood and Nwaba picking up two fouls apiece.

Cleveland stretched its least to 44-34 early in the second period, but the Sixers went on a 19-4 run at that point and led 65-58 at intermission. Philadelphia won the quarter 36-22, including 31-14 to end it.

Sixers starters had a 51-31 edge in scoring, 21-6 margin in rebounding and 11-2 advantage in assists in the first half, with Simmons having seven more assists than Cleveland’s first five. The left-hander had 15 points, six boards and nine assists at intermission.

“I just do what I can offensively and help find guys who are scoring,” Simmons said. “Numbers are numbers.”

Contact Rick Noland at and follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

76ers 128, Cavaliers 105

PHILADELPHIA (128): Butler 6-10 4-5 19, Chandler 4-10 1-1 11, Embiid 10-16 4-6 24, Simmons 9-15 4-5 22, Redick 5-11 2-3 14, Muscala 4-7 0-0 8, Bolden 1-1 0-0 2, Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, Shamet 6-7 0-0 16, McConnell 4-5 0-0 8, Korkmaz 1-6 0-0 2, Milton 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 51-91 15-20 128.

CLEVELAND (105): Burks 2-10 0-0 5, Osman 6-10 4-7 18, Zizic 3-4 1-2 7, Sexton 6-13 0-0 12, Hood 5-9 1-2 13, Blossomgame 0-2 0-0 0, Nance Jr. 3-7 1-2 7, Frye 1-2 0-0 3, Dellavedova 5-9 0-0 13, Clarkson 6-16 4-4 18, Nwaba 4-6 0-0 9. Totals 41-88 11-17 105.

Philadelphia 29 36 24 39 — 128
Cleveland    36  22 27 20 — 105

3-Point Goals—Philadelphia 11-27 (Shamet 4-5, Butler 3-4, Redick 2-5, Chandler 2-6, Muscala 0-1, Embiid 0-1, Milton 0-1, Korkmaz 0-4), Cleveland 12-30 (Dellavedova 3-4, Osman 2-4, Hood 2-5, Clarkson 2-6, Frye 1-2, Nwaba 1-2, Burks 1-4, Nance Jr. 0-1, Sexton 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Philadelphia 48 (Simmons 11), Cleveland 33 (Clarkson 6). Assists—Philadelphia 32 (Simmons 14), Cleveland 28 (Dellavedova 7). Total Fouls—Philadelphia 18, Cleveland 20. Technicals—Cleveland coach Cavaliers (Defensive three second). A—19,432 (20,562).

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