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

Monday, January 5, 2015

Game 35: Cavs at 76ers

Wells Fargo Center
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

1. The Cavs crumbled down the stretch and lost to the worst team in the NBA last night. This team is an absolute mess right now.

2. With that being said, the six players that didn't play for the Cavs would probably make the playoffs: Center Anderson Varejao (torn Achilles' tendon), forward LeBron James (lower back strain, left knee strain) and point guard Kyrie Irving (lower back stiffness) were sidelined with injuries. In addition, guard Dion Waiters, forward Lou Amundson and center Alex Kirk were traded later in the night.

3. The Cavs have just 14 players on the roster after adding guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. Both guards will play prominent roles with the Cavs. Matthew Dellavedova can move back to the bench where he belongs. He had a large role in the loss to the Sixers by missing two free throws with 20 seconds left and the Cavs clinging to a one-point lead. Sixers guard Tony Wroten scored the winning field goal with 9.9 seconds left. If Delly had made both free throws, it would have given the Cavs a much better chance to win.

4. Of course, the Cavs blew a 17-point lead in the third quarter. The Sixers blitzed the Cavs in the fourth when they outscored them, 35-24, and shot 68 percent from the field. Wroten, the Sixers' leading scorer, had 20 points and nine assists.

5. If the Cavs had an advantage in this game, it was their bigs. Power forward Kevin Love finished with 28 points and a season-high 19 rebounds. He's averaging 28.3 points in his last three games.

6. The Sixers had trouble keeping Tristan Thompson off the boards. He's recorded four double-doubles in his last six games. He ended with 18 points and nine rebounds. Thompson ranks fourth in the NBA in offensive rebounds (130) and offensive rebounding average (3.8).

5. Rookie Joe Harris made his first start and fired in a career-high 16 points. He needs to get regular minutes.

6. Sixers center Nerlens Noel was a player the Cavs gave some consideration to drafting in the 2013. They drafted Anthony Bennett instead. Noel is offensively challenged, but he is disruptive on defense. He ended with six points, six rebounds and two blocks.

7. Philadelphia snapped a four-game losing streak. They are now 1-14 at home this season.

UP NEXT: vs. Houston, Quicken Loans Arena, 7 p.m., Wednesday

SF Mike Miller (6-8, 218) vs. Robert Covington (6-9, 215)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Henry Sims (6-10, 240)
C Tristan Thompson (6-10, 238) vs. Nerlens Noel (6-11, 220)
SG Joe Harris (6-4, 225) vs. K.J. McDaniels (6-6, 225)
PG Matthew Dellavedova (6-4, 200) vs. Michael Carter-Williams (6-6, 205)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, F LeBron James
76ers - F Andrei Kirilenko, C Joel Embiid, G Jason Richardson
Bill Kennedy, Mark Lindsay, Gediminas Petraitis


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