Sixers hammer Cavs to snap three-game skid


CLEVELANDAlas, the Sixers got a win they were supposed to and needed to get.
Playing their third game in as many nights, riding a three-game losing streak and keeping way too close of company with ninth-seeded Milwaukee made Wednesdays matchup against Cleveland a virtual must-win.
The Sixers used a brilliant third quarter where they had 31 points to Clevelands 17 to pull away from the Cavaliers for a 103-87 victory (see Lynam's Instant Replay).
Surely the Sixers were glad to see the energy and effort they played with against Indiana roll over into the contest against Cleveland. Despite the loss to the Pacers, a lot of good things took place on the court.
I tried to tell the guys last night that if we have the same effort we had last night well be fine, Andre Iguodala explained. We can pretty much beat any team with that effort if we cut out a few mistakes. Tonight we had that force again.
We just needed an extra push, Jrue Holiday said. I know last night we had an extra push, but the beginning of the second half it kind of died down. This time we were able to withstand longer and we hit them harder, and I think thats what we needed to do. And there aint nothing like a good ol win.
Amen to that.
Holiday scored 19 of his game-high 24 points in the third quarter when he made 6 of 8 from the floor, including a perfect 5 for 5 from three-point range.
He was masterful doing what he did, Doug Collins said of his starting point guards third-quarter effort. I think he was a little upset because he thought he got hit on some drives and hit in the mouth, so I have ordered some pissed off cream for him for the rest of the year.
Actually, I just let it fly, Holiday said. To be honest, I just think I was open. I didnt really see anyone there and then I saw a big rim. And after that three that bounced in from the front of the rim, I knew after that I was good. I could throw anything up to the rim and it was going in.
When you find something a team is having trouble stopping you keep going to it and he kept making them pay, Iguodala added.
Iguodala was aggressively looking to score for a second straight game. He scored nine points in the first 12 minutes, with all three shots coming from behind the arc.
Actually, I am in a lose-lose situation, Iguodala said. Going in every night, every game I am just trying to empty it on the court. If we lose, its on my back. I want these guys to go to the playoffs and continue to grow and get better as players.
It does me no benefit just going out there and we lost some games being passive and trying to run the offense, so now I am just forcing the issue, trying to get wins.
Iguodala finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. His 13 rebounds were a career high.
The (32-30) Sixers began the night 1 games up on Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee played in Washington and the Wizards gave the Sixers a helping hand by dealing the Bucks their 32nd defeat, 121-112. That puts the Milwaukee two games back of the Sixers in the loss column. The Bucks play again on Thursday at Indiana, while the Sixers are idle.
Each win for the Sixers and each loss for the Bucks puts the Sixers that much closer to getting a desired postseason berth for a second consecutive year.
Your fate is in your own hands, Collins said. If Indy can help us tomorrow night and give them 33 (losses) then you are two wins away from taking care of your business. Thats what you have to do.
One area of concern lately for the Sixers is an increased number of turnovers. Wednesday night, they turned the ball over five times in the first quarter, ditto in the second quarter before finishing with 16 for the game.
The Sixers have committed 62 turnovers in their last four games, which is uncharacteristically high but also an unhealthy way for this team to play.
I love the way we were sharing the ball, Collins said of his teams season-high 32 assists. But I dont want us to get to where we start making home-run passes. Were not a home-run team. We get singles and doubles and we dont make the spectacular play.
A much-needed day of rest comes Thursday. Beginning Saturday the Sixers will play their final four games in six nights, all away from Philadelphia.
E-mail Dei Lynam at

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