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76ers-Cavaliers Preview

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A night after knocking off Cleveland in Andrew Bynum's return to Philadelphia, the 76ers look to continue their success over the Cavaliers by sweeping this home-and-home set.

The surprising Atlantic Division leaders will try to win their first two road games for the first time in 13 years Saturday night when they go after their 10th win in 11 meetings with the Cavaliers.

Following consecutive home losses to Golden State and Washington by a total of 34 points, Philadelphia (4-2) got back on track by cruising to a 94-79 victory over visiting Cleveland (2-4) on Friday.

While they were predicted by most to be among the worst teams in the league, the 76ers are beginning to open some eyes as they sit atop the Atlantic through six games.

''We have a young, hard-working group of guys in here and we all have a lot to prove," said Thaddeus Young, who had 16 points and eight rebounds. "We just need to stick together and I think our confidence is growing with each win.''

Evan Turner looks to continue his hot start after posting 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists Friday. Turner had 23 and 13 rebounds in a 97-87 win in Philadelphia's most recent trip to Cleveland on March 29.

Now the 76ers are hitting the road for the first time since a 109-102 victory at Washington on Nov. 1. They haven't won their first two road contests since a 10-0 start during the 2000-01 season - the last time they won the division.

Philadelphia seemed to make significant strides defensively Friday, holding the Cavaliers to a season-low 33.3 percent shooting after allowing 108.4 points per game on 45.2 percent shooting in its previous five. The 76ers trailed 28-14 in the first quarter before limiting Cleveland to 51 points over the final three quarters.

''We need some grittiness and some toughness to surface, especially on the road,'' coach Mike Brown said. ''Right now, it's not happening and I don't know if it's because we don't have the home crowd giving us a little extra energy or what it is.''

The Cavaliers, however, also have struggled at home against Philadelphia, shooting 41.5 percent and averaging 88.2 points while losing four of five meetings.

Kyrie Irving, scoring a team-high 16.7 per game, hopes to regroup after finishing with a season-low 10 on 4-of-17 shooting. The star guard has averaged 8.8 points while shooting 17 for 60 (28.3 percent) in five games against the 76ers - all losses.

Bynum finished with four points and five rebounds in his first game back in Philadelphia since sitting out his only season with the 76ers because of bilateral bone bruises in both knees.

The former All-Star center, who signed a two-year, $24 million deal with the Cavaliers in July, is expected to sit out the return leg of this back-to-back in an effort to preserve those ailing knees.

The Cavaliers also might be without top draft pick Anthony Bennett as they look to bounce back by improving to 3-0 at home. They haven't won their first three home games since LeBron James led them to 23 straight victories in Cleveland to open the 2008-09 campaign.

Bennett, 1 for 20 from the field through six games, is uncertain after going down with a sprained right shoulder in Friday's loss.

Tagged: Cavaliers, 76ers

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