Game 50: 76ers at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
1. The Cavaliers had a chance to end their winning streak tonight against perhaps the worst team in the league. However, for the second consecutive game, they pulled it out in the fourth quarter. The same thing happened in the Minnesota game on Saturday.
2. With the way the Cavs are defending, they could make a deep push into the postseason. That is the main reason they've won 11 in a row. They've held their last nine opponents under 100 points. That hasn't happened since March 15-31, 2009. In that nine-game defensive streak, they are holding teams to 91.9 points per game and a combined 40.2 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent from behind the arc.
3. Losing to the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 5, 95-92, might have been the low point of the Cavs season. They squandered a 17-point lead in the third quarter. The Cavs missed 11 consecutive shots in a stretch that bridged the third and fourth quarters. Guard Tony Wroten burned the Cavs with 20 points. The Cavs didn't have to worry about him in tonight's game. He tore his ACL in his left knee and is done for the season.
4. The 11-game winning streak is the longest in the NBA. That's because the Hawks' 19-game streak ended in New Orleans tonight. What's more important, the Cavs are only one-half game behind Chicago in the Central Division. I think they can move to the No. 2 seed in the East. The Hawks might have too much of a lead.
5. The Cavs' next game will be one of their toughest. They host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday in a nationally televised game on TNT. That's going to be a tough one and will put their impressive streak in jeopardy. During the winning streak, they are winning by a +12.9-point differential (109.5-96.6).
6. Not only are the Cavs defending, they are purring offensively. They have scored 100 or more points in 10 of their last 12 games. They are 23-4 when they top the 100-point plateau, including 14-0 at The Q. They are 22-1 when they score at least 102 points. That's second-best in the NBA to Memphis' 23-1 mark.
7. Some people love to rip on Matthew Dellavedova, but he came to play against the Sixers. He had 12 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. His three 3-point goals were huge in that game. He also defended his butt off. Coach David Blatt has been playing him the entire fourth quarters because he knows he'll defend. I can't argue with him.
UP NEXT: vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 8 p.m. Thursday
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Luc Mbah a Moute (6-8, 230)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Nerlens Noel (6-11, 220)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 220) vs. JaKarr Sampson (6-9, 214)
76ers - G Tony Wroten, C Joel Embiid