November 07, 2015
For the second time in five days, the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-1) used a big third quarter (32-23 margin) to dig out of a halftime deficit against the young and winless Philadelphia 76ers (0-5). This time, Cleveland won by a 108-102 margin. LeBron James was his usual magnificent self, scoring 31 points and dishing out 13 assists in the win.
All in all, I think this was another decent showing by the Sixers. And if you are gambling on them, you’re both a degenerate and pleased they have covered the spread all three times this week. Here’s what I saw:
• Just like on Monday night against Cleveland, the Sixers lost this game coming out of the locker room after halftime. Holding a 50-49 edge at halftime, they ran sloppy offense (three turnovers in a 3:38 span) and allowed a 16-2 run by Cleveland.
• That stretch propelled James into God Mode. The King started hitting jumpers (which, like, there’s nothing you can really do) in that third quarter. He finished with 18 points in the period.
• Nerlens Noel was all over the place defensively (5 steals, 2 blocks, 9 defensive boards) and had his moments going at Kevin Love in the post, but he still missed a lot of easy shots around the rim. He finished 9-18 from the field for 18 points. Like the team, he can take a lot of positives from this one.
• For example, this block on LeBron. You come at the king, you best not miss (and Nerlens didn’t):
After making a short flight home, the Sixers will be right back at it. Saturday night at “The Center,” they will take on the young and athletic Orlando Magic (2-4) on the second half of the back-to-back. The game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann