On the road against a young, talented Philadelphia 76ers team that has exceeded early season expectations, the Cavs came into their building and methodically dominated 113-91 for their eighth straight victory.
LeBron James came out looking like a man that was eager to prove a point, as he started the game with 13 points in the first five minutes. That extra motivation probably stemmed from his matchup with Sixers star rookie Ben Simmons, who has received comparisons to the Cavs superstar in recent weeks. Plus, they share the same agent.
The Cavs bench unit continued to impress, as they came in and closed the quarter strong and got some early separation on the scoreboard, making it 29-22 through 12 minutes.
The momentum from this unit continued into the second quarter, notably being led by Dwyane Wade rather than LeBron, who normally features in this lineup but was instead resting with the starters on this night. The lineup of Wade-Iman Shumpert-Kyle Korver-Jeff Green-Channing Frye turned a one-point deficit into a 13-point lead in about seven minutes, as the Cavs lead 42-29 midway through the second quarter.
The starters checked back in and lost their footing to end the quarter, as the Sixers cut the lead to five. That is, before LeBron missed a three from the top of the key, grabbed his own rebound as it careened to the corner, and nailed a buzzer beater three to give the Cavs a 53-45 halftime lead.
Joel Embiid made his presence felt in the third quarter for the Sixers, going for 16 points in the period as the Sixers cut into the Cavs’ lead to four at one point. The Cavs bench unit checked in again to end the third quarter, and again they impressed. They held the Sixers in check while extending their lead to 13 headed into the fourth quarter.
The Cavs continued to incrementally add to their lead down the stretch in the fourth quarter and ultimately held on for their 8th straight win. LeBron finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the Cavs, while Joel Embiid was the standout man for the Sixers, finishing with 30 points and 11 rebounds.
The Cavs will go for their ninth straight win back at home against the Miami Heat tomorrow night at 7 p.m.