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Final Score: Cleveland Cavaliers win streak ends with 123-121 loss to Philadelphia 76ers

The Cavs’ were a Garland buzzer beater away from an improbable comeback

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Final score: Philadelphia 76ers 123, Cleveland Cavaliers 121. The Cavs’ winning streak ends at nine.

Nightly Notables

This was a game of two halves. The Cavaliers looked off defensively to start this game against the 76ers, with Philadelphia scoring easy bucket after easy bucket. Despite all of that, the Cavs only trailed by four at the half.

But the Cavs went on an 8-0 run early in the third quarter to bring them even with the 76ers at 78-78. From there, the two went back and forth until there were about five minutes left in the fourth when Philly went on a 15-4 run to give them their biggest lead of the game at nine

This game came down to the final four minutes, where both offenses went on individual runs as the Cavs climbed back from being down nine with less than three minutes to close the game on a 15-8 run.

The final possession broke the wrong way for the Cavaliers, as Mitchell was met at the rim, was blocked and then kicked the ball out to Garland who missed an open look from the corner.

Well, that happened…

Don’t let the fact that Garland missed the last shot in the game sway you away from the fact this was one of, if not, the most comfortable he has looked since his return from injury. The Cavaliers’ offense will always be at its best when Garland is playing like this, so this bodes well.

Since Garland’s return, he has shown signs of someone who missed a month and lost 12 pounds. Against Philadelphia, Garland had 21 points on 9-16 shooting and 9 assists. Garland was able to find his spots and looked like the healthy version of himself with the way he was finding his teammates off the roll and accurately reading their cuts to the basket.

If this is the Garland the Cavs get more frequently, then this is the biggest acquisition the Cavaliers could have made during the trade deadline window. With the team as dominant as it has been lately it would be easy to not focus on Garland’s inconsistencies and struggles vs. giving him a fair amount of time to get back in the flow of things. Tonight is proof that patience is the right call.

Big Picture

This game is just a blip on the radar of what still is a great run the Cavaliers have been on. This game just came down to who played better on the whole and who made more shots down the stretch. The 76ers did that.