NBA: Cavaliers cruise past Sixers to remain unbeaten

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Dec 28 2020 11:20 AM

NBA: Cavaliers cruise past Sixers to remain unbeaten 1
Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (3) scores on a layup during the third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Andre Drummond scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the host Cleveland Cavaliers breezed past the Philadelphia 76ers 118-94 on Sunday.

Collin Sexton added 22 points, Darius Garland and Cedi Osman contributed 14 apiece and Larry Nance Jr. had 13 for the Cavaliers, who improved to 3-0.

The last time the Cavaliers started with three straight victories to open a season came to start the 2016-17 campaign when they advanced to the NBA Finals.

Cleveland won handily despite losing five-time All-Star Kevin Love to a strained right calf late in the first half. Love scored four points in a brief appearance and did not return.

Tobias Harris led the Sixers with 16 points while Ben Simmons added 15 and Mike Scott had 12.

The Sixers, who won their first two games under head coach Doc Rivers, looked lethargic at times without Joel Embiid. Before the game, Embiid was scratched with back tightness. Embiid posted 56 points and 24 rebounds combined in wins over the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks.

The Sixers went 11-10 without Embiid last season.

The Cavaliers were dominant early on while building a 57-38 lead with 4:10 remaining in the first half.

Philadelphia committed 11 turnovers in the first half and trailed 64-50 heading into the locker room.

Drummond reached a double-double by halftime with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Sixers struggled from 3-point range, missing 13 of 18 long-distance shots in the first half.

Dante Exum converted a steal into a dunk and a 76-53 Cleveland advantage with 8:45 left in the third quarter.

Seth Curry and Harris made consecutive 3-pointers to close the Sixers within 17 at 76-59.

But the Cavaliers came back again and pushed ahead 85-59 with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter after a runner in the lane by Garland.

Cleveland led 93-72 at the end of the third.

Garland scored two baskets and Drummond added one to open the fourth for a commanding 99-72 advantage.

Rivers emptied his bench midway through the fourth with the game well out of reach and the Cavaliers cruised to the win.

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