National Basketball Association
Philadelphia at Cleveland
When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, December 16, 2018
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
The Philadelphia 76ers are enduring their first losing streak since October and will try to avoid their first three-game slide of the season when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. The 76ers, who last dropped back-to-back games on Oct. 23 and 24, fell at home against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday before dropping a 113-101 decision to the Indiana Pacers on Friday - both with star swingman Jimmy Butler sidelined.
Butler, who sat out the last two games with a groin injury, had an MRI come back showing no structural damage on Friday but remains questionable to return during a two-game trip that takes Philadelphia to San Antonio on Monday. The 76ers leaned on center Joel Embiid the last two games in Butler's absence but even 40 points and 21 rebounds from the All-Star on Friday were not enough to put the team in the win column. The Cavaliers got off to a solid start on their three-game homestand with a 113-106 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday but could not contain Giannis Antetokounmpo on Friday and ended up falling to the Milwaukee Bucks 114-102. "Effort was there. We tried a couple of different things," Cleveland coach Larry Drew told reporters. "Just trying to make it a little bit tougher on Giannis where we started the second half with Larry (Nance Jr.), so we put a little bit more size on him. But our effort was there, our effort was there. I can't fault that. We put up a fight, we were down early, you have to exert a lot of energy to get back in it to fight yourself back."
3:30 p.m. ET, NBCS Philadelphia, FS Ohio (Cleveland)ABOUT THE 76ERS (19-11):
Embiid put up 28 points and 14 rebounds in the first half on Friday to help Philadelphia take a 10-point lead into the break and the team struggled to adjust its offense when Indiana adjusted its defense on Embiid in the second half. "It wasn't enough," Embiid told reporters of his performance. "It doesn't matter what I had. At the end of the day, we didn't come up with the win, and that's what we want to do." Embiid, Ben Simmons and JJ Redick combined for 80 points on 28-of-56 shooting on Friday, but the rest of the team managed 21 points on 8-of-32.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (7-22):
Rookie point guard Collin Sexton had a string of 18 straight games scoring in double figures come to an end when he managed five points on 2-of-11 shooting in Friday's setback. "I think it's something where he's going to have to learn," Drew told reporters of Sexton. "There are different players, a different style defensively. Some teams may be longer, more athletic, quicker. ... It just comes down to making plays at that point. But anytime you're trying to finish over length, your percentages go down. He has not figured that out yet. I think it's something that will come in time." Reserve point guard Jordan Clarkson tried to pick up the slack and scored a team-high 23 points on Friday - his second straight 20-plus outing.BUZZER BEATERS
1. 76ers PF Mike Muscala returned from a one-game absence due to an illness on Friday but struggled to two points on 1-of-8 shooting in 17 minutes.
2. Cavaliers SG Rodney Hood averaged 21 points on 16-of-28 shooting in the last two games after totaling seven points in his previous two contests.
3. Hood had 25 points and Sexton scored 23 to lead Cleveland to a 121-112 win at Philadelphia on Nov. 23.PREDICTION:
76ers 121, Cavaliers 110
Stats and Records