7:30 PM ET, February 11, 2012
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
CLEVELAND -- The Philadelphia 76ers wanted no part of a three-game losing streak.
That was bad news for the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers.
Jrue Holiday scored 20 points to lead six Philadelphia players in double figures as the 76ers rolled to a 99-84 win over the Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Philadelphia bounced back from a difficult home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night to break a season-worst two-game losing streak. As far as the Sixers players were concerned, even a short losing streak was unacceptable.
"It was really important to end it now," Holiday said. "We wish we could have ended it after one game, but that didn't happen."
Sixers coach Doug Collins had no doubt his team would be ready to rebound from the losses to San Antonio and the Clippers, which marked the first time this season Philadelphia lost consecutive games.
"We were efficient tonight and it was just a real professional effort," he said. "Our guys spoil me with their effort because they bring it every night."
Cleveland, which dropped an overtime decision to Milwaukee at home on Friday, played without two of its three leading scorers. The team announced before the game that center Anderson Varejao will be sidelined indefinitely because of a broken right wrist sustained Friday. Rookie point guard Kyrie Irving missed his third straight game with a concussion.
With Varejao and Irving sitting at the end of the bench in nicely tailored suits instead of uniforms, Cleveland coach Byron Scott had a feeling his team was in for a tough night.
"The energy wasn't there from the start to the finish," he said. "I kind of expected that watching guys in the locker room. Hopefully, we'll get over this little hangover and be ready to play Wednesday."
Antawn Jamison led Cleveland with 20 points, while Ramon Sessions -- starting in place of Irving -- scored 19 points and had eight assists. Sessions admitted that hearing about Varejao's injury affected the team.
"Nobody really knew until they got here," he said. "Everybody thought it was just a little sprain and maybe he'd be out tonight. It's tough losing a guy like Andy -- real tough."
Lou Williams scored 19 points and Thaddeus Young added 16 for Philadelphia. Elton Brand scored 11 points while Jodie Meeks and Nikola Vucevic had 10 apiece. The balance was no surprise considering six players average in double figures and eight score at least nine a game.
"Our guys love to share the ball," Collins said. "Even in garbage time tonight, there was one possession where all five of our guys touched the ball -- and some did it more than once."
The Sixers haven't lost three straight since April 2-6 of last season and quickly made sure that wouldn't happen Saturday. Philadelphia scored 12 straight after trailing 19-18 late in the first quarter. Williams scored nine points in the second period in which the 76ers put up 37 points and made nine of 21 shots. Philadelphia's biggest lead came at 54-35 late in the quarter.
Both teams came off tough defeats, but the Sixers were in a much better position to regroup. Philadelphia led Los Angeles for most of Friday's game, but Chris Paul's jump shot with 3.2 seconds left sent the Sixers to a 78-77 loss. The Cavaliers had a chance to win Friday's game in regulation, but Jamison missed two free throws with the game tied and 3.7 seconds remaining. Cleveland fell 113-112.
"We had a tough loss last night, too, so it wasn't anything different," Holiday said. "We were just doing our thing."
Philadelphia has played a league-high 18 home games, but started a stretch in which it will play seven of eight on the road.
Cleveland has lost 10 of 14. Varejao is averaging 10.8 points with 11.5 rebounds, but the Cavaliers will miss his intensity and energy as much as his numbers. Semih Erden started at center, but was scoreless and had four fouls in 13 rebounds.
Scott said Irving, who hasn't played since Tuesday, rode the stationary bike Saturday in his first physical activity since being diagnosed with the concussion Wednesday. It's unclear when Irving, who leads Cleveland averaging 18 points a game, will be cleared to take part in practice sessions.
"This is the NBA," Scott said. "Guys get hurt. It provides opportunities for other guys. It (injuries) doesn't take away from the fact we need to compete at a high level like we're capable of doing."
Sixers C Spencer Hawes (strained left Achilles) missed his third straight game. ... Philadelphia is 6-0 against the Central Division. ... The Sixers committed six turnovers. Their season low is four. ... Cavaliers G Anthony Parker, another starter missed his seventh straight game with a strained lower back. ... The Cavaliers don't play again until Wednesday when they host Indiana. LeBron James and the Miami Heat visit Quicken Loans Arena on Friday. Saturday was the third game of Cleveland's stretch of nine straight games at home, the most in franchise history.
CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 11: Ramon Sessions #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes up for the shot against Lou...(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||35-79 (.443)||31-84 (.369)|
|3PM-3PA||6-14 (.429)||3-14 (.214)|
|FTM-FTA||23-30 (.767)||19-25 (.760)|
|Fast Break Points||8||6|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||16 (0/0)||19 (0/0)|
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