The Philadelphia 76ers got well-acquainted with the Cavaliers last weekend, playing back-to-back games against the Cavs; the first at Philadelphia and the second at Cleveland.
Friday, Nov. 8 marked Andrew Bynum’s return to Wells Fargo Center after spending his entire Philadelphia career absent from the court due to injured knees. Bynum signed with Cleveland as a free agent during the off-season. Bynum’s return was by no means a welcome one either. The 7-footer faced an onslaught of boos from Sixers fans when he stepped onto the court and every time his hands touched the ball.
Fans had plenty to cheer about, however, when the Sixers kicked off he second half with an 11-3 Sixer run. Evan Turner was the break out player on the offensive end with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Philadelphia’s star on the rise Michael Carter-Williams had 11 points and six assists. Spencer Hawes and Thadeus Young were major contributors on the defensive end with six blocks and two blocks respectively. Tony Rhoten, a recent pick-up from the Memphis Grizzlies, added 18 points of his own coming off the bench.
The 76ers cruised to a 94-79 victory at home.
When the 76ers traveled to Cleveland the following day, they faced a completely different Cavaliers team in a nail-biter of a game. By the end of the first half, the difference in the score was just five points with the Sixers leading 53 to 48. Philadelphia extended that lead with a 12 to 4 run coming out of the half. Evan Turner led the way with 13 points heading into the fourth quarter. In the fourth, however, Cleveland had an impressive run of their own led by Kyrie Irving. Irving’s performance was nothing but extraordinary with a season high of 39 points and 12 assists. Dion Waiter contributed another 24 points with Jarrett Jack coming off the bench with 20 points.
Cleveland was up 107 to 105 with eight seconds left on the clock when Thadeus Young laid it in to tie the game and ultimately send it into overtime. Thadeus Young also went two for three from beyond the arc.
The Cavaliers would create some distance again in with a score of 113 to 107 led by Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. The Sixers, however, decided they were not yet finished as Evan Turner, who played college basketball in Ohio, led the Sixers into a second overtime. He would end the game with 31 points and another ten rebounds.
The game stayed close through overtime number two as well. Cleveland maintained a short lead well into extended time, but this time it was Michael Carter-Williams to equalize the game again with a long-range jumper. He would leave the game with 21 points and 13 assists. That, however, was when the excitement came to an end as Kyrie Irving, in his third attempted game-winner, brought the fight to an end with a clean take to the basket. The final score was 127 to 125 for a Cavaliers victory.
Despite the loss, the 76ers closed out the weekend with a winning record of four and three.