NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 27th (All times eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (17-29) at Philadelphia 76ers (27-22), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia 76ers have lost their stranglehold atop the Atlantic Division and are beginning to slide down the Eastern Conference standings as well. Tonight, they'll try to stay afloat versus the Cleveland Cavaliers from Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers are now deadlocked with the Boston Celtics in the division, although they currently own the tiebreaker and sit fourth in the Eastern Conference playoff race. A loss tonight, however, and Philadelphia would tumble all the way to No. 7.
The Sixers losing ways continued with Sunday night's 93-76 drubbing at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs in the Alamo City, as Elton Brand posted 14 points and nine boards, while Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday netted 10 points apiece for the Sixers, who have dropped 24 of 25 in San Antonio since the start of the 1986-87 season.
"They just put you in a bind the entire night," said Sixers head coach Doug Collins. "We normally turn the ball over 11 times and tonight it was 21. We were very careless, and that's unlike us."
Philadelphia also had a key contributor sidelined, as All-Star Andre Iguodala missed the contest due to patella tendinitis in his left knee. Iguodala missed his first game of the season and was called doubtful by Collins early on Friday for tonight's game. The Sixers went 5-10 without him a year ago.
The 76ers are 7-13 since opening the condensed season with a 20-9 record, and is in the midst of alternating home and away games over a seven-game span. They are 17-10 as the host this season, but have lost eight of the past 13 home games after winning 12 of the first 14 contests at Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia hopes to reach the 100-point mark this evening since it is 12-2 when doing so this season.
The Sixers have held opponents below 100 points in 18 of the past 19 games, but is 0-7 when allowing opponents to reach the century mark in scoring.
Cleveland has dropped three straight and six of seven games, and is coming off Sunday's 108-83 loss versus Phoenix in which Rookie of the Year candidate Kyrie Irving led the way with 16 points and six rebounds.
Omri Casspi added 14 points off the bench in defeat.
"We can't play the rest of the season with peaks and valleys," said Irving after the loss. "At times we've shown a lot of heart and we've beaten really good teams by playing hard for 48 minutes. We just haven't been doing that in the last two games."
The Cavs, who trailed by 29 points in the fourth quarter against the Suns, have lost two in a row on the road and are 8-14 outside Quicken Loans Arena this season. Cavaliers power forward Antawn Jamison scored just two points in 19 minutes, the worst offensive output since having no points on Jan. 13, 2006 at Indiana as a member of the Wizards. He suffered a bruised left ankle and leg contusion, and is questionable for Tuesday.
Phoenix also converted 22 Cleveland turnovers into 25 points. The Cavs are just 4-12 in their last 16 games. Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle and may not play Tuesday.
Cleveland lost the first meeting of the season with Philadelphia, 99-84, on Feb. 11 in the Forest City, as Holiday led a balanced Philadelphia attack with 20 points and Lou Williams added 19. Irving did not play in that one because of a concussion and the Cavs suffered their third straight loss in the series.
The Cavs are 10-4 in the past 14 overall meetings with the 76ers, who have dropped nine of the previous 11 meetings as the host in this series due in large part to former Cavaliers star LeBron James.
03/27 11:17:40 ET