The absence of Joel Embiid did not matter for the Philadelphia 76ers as they handed the Cleveland Cavaliers a decisive 114-94 loss.
The fact that the Philadelphia 76ers were missing Joel Embiid was massively overstated as they managed to prove it did not matter against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Philly dominated the Cavs in the second half and handed Cleveland a 20-point loss. What was seen on Thursday was the difference between a team in contention and one stuck in the basement of the Eastern Conference.
The Cavaliers surprisingly kept things close in the first half, only trailing by 2 points. It was the second half that doomed Cleveland yet again. Philadelphia outscored Cleveland 27-17 in the 3rd and 29-21 in the 4th. This has been a recurring theme for the Cavs all season long and was hardly surprising. Cleveland simply cannot compete with most teams in the league and the 76ers are no exception, even without Embiid.
Love and Delly return
Even though the loss was disappointing, the Cavaliers saw the return of Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova. Love has only appeared in 4 games prior this season and this was the season debut for Dellavedova. Love finished with 13 points on 4-10 shooting (3-6 3PT) in 20 minutes. Delly saw 16 minutes off the bench finishing with 5 assists.
Highs and lows of SexLand
Collin Sexton scored a team-high 24 points on the night on 7-15 from the floor. This is one of the better performances from Young Bull as he usually needs 10+ misses to eclipse 20 points. Sexton made all 9 free throws and 1 of 4 three-point attempts with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Darius Garland did not have a great game by any means. Garland only had 6 points on 3-8 from the field while missing all 3 three-point attempts. The second-year guard did have a game-high 8 assists, the problem was the 7 turnovers pretty much canceled them all out.
The Cavaliers head back on out the road for Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat. Cleveland has lost 19 straight games in Miami and this does not seem to be a great opportunity to snap this rather long streak.