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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Game 10: Cavs at 76ers

Wells Fargo Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: Where to start? Coach Byron Scott has been harping about his team's porous defense for the last week.

They locked down on the Sixers on Sunday and held them to 86 points and 42.5 percent shooting. The Cavs competed on the defensive end.

So, what happened? Their offense goes completely in the dumper. They set season lows in points (79), field-goal percentage (35.7), and assists (14).

It all starts with point guard Kyrie Irving, who was held to a season-low 9 points. He made just 4 of 14 from the field. He did have 4 rebounds and 4 assists. That wasn't the case on Saturday against Dallas when he scored 26 points and didn't register an assist.

Selfish basketball? Possibly.

On Sunday, he had a built-in excuse for not performing well. He bruised his left index finger in the Dallas game. He admitted after the Mavs game that he was in much pain and he had trouble using his left hand.

He also had 5 turnovers against the Sixers.

His running mate in the backcourt, Dion Waiters, suddenly can't shoot. In his last three games, he's shooting 20 percent from the field (9 of 45). He'll dip under 40 percent on the season soon if this slump continues. He was held to 5 points, no assists and no rebounds. Sound familiar?

Forward Tristan Thompson checked in with his second double-double in a row with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Center Anderson Varejao snapped out of his one-game funk with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Small forward Alonzo Gee was equally as good with a team-high 17 points.

In case you were wondering, when was the last time the Cavs and Browns had the same record?

The Cavs have lost 6 in a row overall, as well as 6 in a row to the Sixers.

Sixers guard Jrue Holiday, their leading scorer at 19 per game, is the only player on the roster who has reached double figures in scoring in each of their 10 games this year. He and backup center Spencer Hawes each had 14 points on Sunday.

Former Ohio State star Evan Turner had a huge floor game with a game-high 19 points, 6 rebounds and a game-high 9 assists. He was also 8 of 12 from the field.

He's playing free and easy and finally looks comfortable playing without the ball. The former No. 2 overall pick is giving Coach Doug Collins good minutes.

Collins was an assistant coach at Arizona State when Scott was recruited out of high school. They remain close friends to this day.

Scott is constantly changing his rotation, largely because the players off the bench aren't getting the job done. Point guard Jeremy Pargo and small forward Omri Casspi are in the rotation - for now - until he gets tired of looking at them.

It all adds up to being a team in transition, with a lot of moving parts. It doesn't add up to being a good team in any stretch of the imagination.

The starters have been very good, as evidenced by the fact they have the best plus-minus combined numbers in the league. Things deteriorate quickly when Scott goes to the bench.

The Cavs were forced to play without valuable backup guard Daniel Gibson. He injured his elbow in the Dallas game. His scoring ability and outside shooting was definitely missed, especially on a night their starting backcourt was so ineffective.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Philadelphia at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Evan Turner (6-7, 220)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Thaddeus Young (6-9, 235)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Kwame Brown (6-11, 290)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Jason Richardson (6-6, 225)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Jrue Holiday (6-4, 205) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, F Jon Leuer
76ers - C Andrew Bynum
Bennett Salvatore, Tony Brown, Haywoode Workman


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