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January 10, 2016

Cavs 95, Sixers 85: It’s hard to beat LeBron James

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It’s always fun when LeBron James comes to Philly. The arena is packed, the crowd is always animated, the Sixers seem to get up for the game, and once in a while, we get to see greatness.

OK, that wasn’t James’ finest moment, but he got in the time machine and became 2012-13 Super-Efficient LeBron again for one night: 37 points (15-22 FG), 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, and about five breathtaking dunks. And the Cleveland Cavaliers (26-9) earned a 95-85 win over the Philadelphia 76ers (4-36).

Oh yes, the Sixers...

As has been the case recently, the Sixers played the Cavs tougher than their records would lead you to believe. Jahlil Okafor was able to generate good looks (via post-up or face-up drive) en route to 21 points (9-15 FG) and 7 boards. Nerlens Noel and Jerami Grant, who combined for six blocks/steals, brought the noise defensively. And volume shooter Ish Smith did a professional job running the offense with 18 points and 10 assists.

But to beat a team like the Cavs, the Sixers have to catch LeBron on an off night or play close to a perfect game. Neither happened on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center. They managed to cut the deficit to 81-79 in the fourth quarter, but LeBron rattled off ten points to spearhead a 14-0 Cleveland run that sealed the deal.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann