76ers turn tables on Cavaliers, Lakers win
By Agence France-Presse
The Philadelphia 76ers led wire-to-wire in a 108-97 victory over the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Thursday, perhaps the perfect sales pitch if they want to lure LeBron James to Pennsylvania next season.
The 76ers, who had lost 11 straight games to the Cavs, were fueled by 22 points from shooting guard JJ Redick, who connected on seven of his 11 shots from the floor, including four three-pointers.
It was a rare road win for the Sixers, who notched just their second win in their last eight away games.
Joel Embiid added 17 points, 14 rebounds and six assists for Philadelphia. Ben Simmons finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
James, who said he was flattered by three billboards rented by a Pennsylvania company in the Cleveland area urging him to consider a move to the Sixers as a free agent next season, led all scorers with 30 points.
He added nine rebounds and eight assists but Cleveland, who closed within one point with 2:25 remaining after trailing by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter, were never able to get in front.
Things got testy in the waning seconds, when Philadelphia forward Dario Saric dunked and Cleveland’s Jordan Clarkson, frustrated, bounced the ball off Saric’s back.
Clarkson was ejected as players from both teams exchanged words.
In Miami, Los Angeles point guard Isaiah Thomas scored a season-high 29 points in the Lakers’ convincing 131-113 victory over the Heat.
The Lakers won in Miami for the first time in a decade, halting whatever momentum the Heat had built with wins over the Memphis Grizzlies and the 76ers.
Veteran Dwyane Wade, who drained the game-winner against the 76ers on on Tuesday, delivered another vintage performance in his seventh game back with the Heat since he was traded from Cleveland.
But his 25 points weren’t close to enough against a Lakers team untroubled by any defensive effort Miami, who gave up the most points they have allowed this season.
Julius Randle scored 25 points for the Lakers and Brandon Ingram added 19 before a premature depature with a left hip flexor strain — the only downside for the Lakers on the night.
“We’ll know more tomorrow,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said of Ingram’s injury, although the team said he was questionable for Saturday’s game in San Antonio.
The Lakers are now 4-0 since the All-Star break.
“We were sharing the ball,” Walton said. “We were pushing it, we were playing at he pace we like. Instead of trying to make the spectacular passes we were just making the simple one and that’s what a lot of times leads to good, open rhythm shots — and we were able to make some of those.” (AFP)