Holiday leads 76ers past short-handed Cavs 99-84
CLEVELAND – Jrue Holiday scored 20 points to lead six Philadelphia players in double figures as the 76ers rolled to a 99-84 win over the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Philadelphia bounced back from a difficult home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night to break a season-high two-game losing streak.
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.
Antawn Jamison led Cleveland with 20 points, while Ramon Sessions — starting in place of Irving — scored 19 points and had eight assists.
Lou Williams scored 19 points and Thaddeus Young added 16 for Philadelphia.
The Sixers haven't lost three straight April 2-6 of last season and made quickly sure that wouldn't happen Saturday. Philadelphia scored 12 straight points 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.
Philadelphia has played a league-high 18 home games, but started a stretch where 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.
Cleveland coach Bryon 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.
Notes: Sixers C Spencer Hawes (strained left Achilles) missed his third straight game. ... Philadelphia is 6-0 against the Central Division. ... 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.