There wasn’t very much buzz in the building and in a game that lacked drama and suspense, but the 76ers shouldn’t be complaining. A win is a win and there hasn’t been an overabundance of them lately.
Tuesday’s 103-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers before 17,832 at the Wells Fargo Center was just the third victory in the last eight games for the Sixers.
And even though the Cavs were players such as Manny Harris and Donald Sloan - leaving more than one fan (and one writer) to ask “who are these guys” - the Sixers needed a win over any team, regardless of the personnel.
Coach Doug Collins talked after the morning shootaround about how the standings are posted each day in the locker room.
The players understand the importance of winning the division.
Whether they can hold on against the aging Celtics and suddenly banged-up Knicks remains to be seen.
So while this wasn’t an overly exciting game, it’s the kind the Sixers have hung their collective hats on, high on defense and low on turnovers.
The Sixers forced 18 turnovers, and committed 11. And they held Cleveland to 28 for 70 shooting (40 percent).
It was a weird game in that the Cavs didn’t seem in it, but the Sixers couldn’t put them away until the very end.
Cleveland got to within 11 points with under five minutes, but that would be as close as it got.
Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving, has the potential to be a future all-star, but his performance in this game didn’t demonstrate that type of eye-popping ability.
Irving had 12 points (4 for 13 shooting), 7 assists, but five turnovers.
“They are such a good ballclub, one of the best defensive teams in the league,” Irving said of the Sixers. “They definitely clogged up the lane tonight and I don’t think I had one uncontested layup. They did a fabulous job and that is just a good club.”
The Sixers got a career high 31 points from Jodie Meeks and 19 more from Jrue Holiday, taking advantage of the Cavs weak perimeter defense.
Another thing the Sixers know how to do is put away teams they are supposed to beat. They are now 18-5 against teams with sub .500 records.
It doesn’t matter how it’s done, the Sixers simply need wins. And on a night they outscored Cleveland 54-24 in points in the paint, it was more than enough.
Now the Sixers resume action on Friday in Washington against a Wizards team that has just 11 wins, meaning even though it’s on the road, the Sixers have a chance to get some wins and confidence for when the opponents are much tougher, such as Saturday’s home game against the Atlanta Hawks.