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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Game 54: Cavs at Sixers

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

WHAT HAPPENED?: The Cavs extended their winning streak to five games in a row. The 29-point victory is the largest margin of victory in the post-LeBron James era, according to ESPN Stats and Info. They host Orlando on Wednesday with a chance to stretch their streak to six in a row.

The only negative was the hyperextended left knee suffered by guard Dion Waiters, who was injured after a dunk in traffic. Waiters is expected to miss some time, perhaps as much as a week.

He had 14 points, four rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes against the hapless Sixers.

These are two teams heading in opposite directions. The Sixers are in tank mode and have lost nine in a row, including eight at home.

The front office is auctioning off their top three players to the highest bidder: Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes.

The Cavs apparently have some interest in Turner, a former star at Ohio State, but probably not at the expense of a first-round pick.

Wells Fargo Center hasn't been friendly to the Cavs, as they had lost five in a row on the road in this rivalry. However, they won the season series against Philadelphia, 3-1.

Center Anderson Varejao remains out of the lineup with a sore back/general soreness. I assumed the reason he sat out the last two games before the break was that he'd be ready for the Sixers.

Evidently, it's a little more serious than they are letting on. Imagine that. The Cavs will say they are just being cautious with Varejao. It was only a matter of time before he got injured. He might return against the Magic on Wednesday - or he may not. 

Tyler Zeller had his best game as a pro on Tuesday with 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. He got off to a fast start and never looked back.

The Cavs led by 34 points at one point. They shot 46 percent from the field and held the Sixers to 36 percent. They also pounded the Sixers on the boards, 61-44. The total rebounds are a season high.

They had three players record double-doubles: Zeller, power forward Tristan Thompson (12 points, 10 rebounds) and power forward Anthony Bennett (10 points, 11 rebounds). Both players are playing inspired basketball.

The time is right for this team to finally make its push for the playoffs - if they are going to make it.

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

SF Luol Deng (6-9, 220) vs. Evan Turner (6-7, 216)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Thaddeus Young (6-8, 230)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Spencer Hawes (7-1, 245)
SG Jarrett Jack (6-3, 200) vs. James Anderson (6-6, 210)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Michael Carter-Williams (6-6, 185)
Cavs - G/F Sergey Karasev, G Carrick Felix
76ers C Nerlens Noel, F/C Brandon Davies, Jason Richardson
James Capers, Dick Bavetta, Leon Wood


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