76ers hand Cavaliers seventh consecutive loss
Evan Turner scored 23 points and the Philadelphia 76ers beat Cleveland, 97-87, on Friday night, sending the Cavaliers to their season-high seventh straight loss.
Jrue Holiday had 20 points and Thaddeus Young added 18 for the Sixers, who are 2-16 on the road since Jan. 2. Philadelphia used a 20-2 run that began late in the second quarter and extended into the third to take control of the game. Turner, who had three points at halftime, scored 13 in the first seven minutes of the third quarter.
C.J. Miles scored 19 points for Cleveland, which had lost six in a row on two previous occasions. The Cavaliers played again without their starting backcourt of Kyrie Irving (bruised shoulder) and Dion Waiters (sore knee). Irving has missed eight straight games while Waiters has been out the last four.
Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers.
Cleveland trailed 77-66 after three quarters, but cut the margin to 78-74 early in the fourth. Turner hit a 3-pointer and a jumper to push the lead back to nine. Holiday added two 3-pointers and scored in the lane to keep the Sixers comfortably ahead.
Cleveland led 45-36 with 1:57 remaining in the second quarter, but the Sixers scored nine straight points to tie it. Tristan Thompson missed two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining before halftime.
The Cavaliers, who have the third-worst record in the East, were officially eliminated from postseason contention Thursday when Milwaukee defeated the Los Angeles Lakers.
In addition to injuries, the Cavaliers’ previous three losses were particularly frustrating. Cleveland squandered a 27-point lead in the second half and lost to Miami at home, was blown out by 38 points in Houston the following game for its worst loss of the season and let a 14-point lead with eight minutes to play get away at home and lost at the buzzer against Boston on Wednesday.
Tyler Zeller scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds for Cleveland.
Irving and Waiters both took part in pregame shooting drills, but it’s unclear whether either player will return this season. Irving has missed eight straight games while Waiters has been out the last four contests. The Cavaliers have also been without center Anderson Varejao, who hasn’t played since December after sustaining a split muscle in his leg. Varejao also developed blood clots after having surgery.
Former Sixers G Allen Iverson will return for his bobblehead Saturday night when the 76ers host Charlotte. Iverson, who led Philadelphia to the 2001 NBA finals, played for the Sixers from 1996-2007 and again in 2009-10. ... G Jeremy Pargo, who played 25 games for the Cavaliers this season, scored two points in six minutes for the Sixers. ... The Cavaliers play at New Orleans on Sunday. Cleveland hasn’t won on the road since Feb. 26 when it defeated Chicago.