By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers had revenge on their minds as they played the Cleveland Cavaliers looking to avenge an early blowout loss to them. Philly did not have it for most of the game and Cleveland was able to take advantage of some weak play by them. That doomed the Sixers as turnovers and bad defense cost them this game. As they fell to Cleveland 112-109
It did not look good for Philly early. They were not able to hit their shots and they let the power outage on offense, affect them on the defensive end. It looked like a lay-up drill for the Cavs as they were able to get to the basket at will against Philly. The defenders put up little resistance. Cleveland guard Collin Saxton was able to score 18 of his 28-points by half-time. When he was not carving them up from the paint, he was creating open three-point baskets for his teammates. The Cavaliers hit eight three-pointers in this game.
On the slow start on offense and defense, “We were running our offense like a walk thru,” said Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
Philly was able to retake the lead late in the fourth quarter. They needed some stronger perimeter defense to do it. They effectively shut the paint off for the Cavs guards, and force them to take perimeter shots which they could not hit throughout the game. Center Joel Embiid (42-points) and Ben Simmons (24-points) came alive for them. They combined for 66 of Philly’s 109-points. Embiid had an opportunity to end the game but missed the shot.
Although this was a dynamic game for Embiid and Simmons. The absence of forward Tobias Harris loomed large. He missed his first game with a sprained knee. Philly only had two other players who scored 10-points or more. The Sixers will need to find a third scorer to compliment Embiid and Simmons especially while Harris is out.
On Philly’s performance, “The effort wasn’t there, I’d say that was the main thing,” said Simmons.
Philly will need to put up a better effort as they face the Indiana Pacers on Monday night and will need better defensive play and unlock a third scorer if they want to beat the Pacers.