The Cleveland Cavaliers will try to stop a five-game slide Sunday evening when they visit the Wells Fargo Center to meet the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Cavs dropped their fifth straight Saturday. The Dallas Mavericks came to town and walked out with a 103-95 victory thanks, in large part, to a 9-0 run late that put the game away.
"We were making multiple efforts out there and we stuck with our defensive principles, but they just were making shots," said Cavs guard Kyrie Irving. "Every shot that they took at the end was either contested or a tough shot, so you've just got to give credit to them."
Whatever the case, it's another Cleveland loss and another 100-point outburst for the opponent. Since a season-opening victory over the Washington Wizards on Oct. 30, the Cavaliers have surrendered 100 points or more in all eight subsequent games.
"The biggest thing is what we're doing on the defensive end is not carrying over from practice to the game," admitted coach Byron Scott. "I thought for three quarters it was okay, but in the fourth quarter they shot 59 percent. That's pretty much the game."
Something will have to give on Sunday night.
The 76ers are the second-worst scoring team in the NBA, so will they be able to get well against the bad Cavaliers defense, or will Cleveland show signs of improvement versus a poor Sixers offense?
On Friday, the Sixers stopped a two-game home losing streak with a 99-93 victory over the Utah Jazz.
Before the game, Andrew Bynum, the centerpiece of a blockbuster summer trade, announced that his left knee, the one that was supposedly healthier and not causing him to miss time, had a "setback."
And the question remains for head coach Doug Collins, what do you do without an All-Star in the middle?
"With Andrew Bynum not being able to play, Lavoy Allen and Kwame Brown are essential for our team to have a chance of being a winning team," said coach Doug Collins, stressing the word essential.
Allen had his best game of the season on Friday with 10 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes, while Brown didn't stuff the stat sheet, but helped keep Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter under their scoring averages.
Jrue Holiday was spectacular for the 76ers, especially in the first half. He finished with 26 points on 10-for-21 shooting and added seven assists.
Philadelphia has won five in a row against the Cavs, but Cleveland is 8-2 in its last 10 in the City of Brotherly Love.