Clarkson, Hood help Cavaliers hand 76ers first home loss
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jordan Clarkson scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, Rodney Hood had 25 point and the Cleveland Cavaliers stunned Philadelphia 121-112 on Friday night, snapping the 76ers’ perfect home record.
Philadelphia entered as the NBA’s lone undefeated team at home at 10-0, while the Cavaliers were 0-8 on the road with the worst overall record in the league at 2-14. What appeared to be a mismatch on paper was anything but on the court.
Colin Sexton added 23 points, Cedi Osman scored 20 and Tristan Thompson had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who had lost three in a row, including Wednesday’s 109-105 home defeat to the Lakers in LeBron James’ return to Cleveland. The Cavaliers played Los Angeles tough in that one and carried that mentality into Friday’s game in Philadelphia.
Joel Embiid had 24 points and 12 rebounds for Philadelphia, which had won four in a row overall and 20 consecutive contests at home dating to last season. The 76ers’ last home loss came last March 13, a 101-98 defeat to Indiana.
J.J. Redick scored 23 points and Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler had 22 apiece for the 76ers. Simmons added 10 assists.
The Cavaliers slowly extended their one-point lead to start the fourth. Larry Nance Jr.’s dunk made it 94-90 with 7:48 left, and Cleveland took leads of seven, eight, nine and 11 before increasing it to 12 on Clarkson’s 3 from the right wing with 3:50 left. The advantage eventually grew to 15 points on Clarkson’s layup with 1:48 when the outcome was no longer in doubt.
Despite what appeared to be lackluster play, there were signs that the 76ers would pull away earlier in the second half.
The 76ers took their largest lead on Simmons’ layup that made it 79-74 with 2:53 left in the third quarter. At that point, it looked as if Philadelphia would start getting it together. But the Cavaliers finished the period by scoring 10 of the final 14 points to enter the fourth up 84-83.
Philadelphia came out sluggish to start the contest, and the Cavaliers took advantage by scoring the first seven points and growing their lead to 22-8 on Sexton’s jumper with 4:08 remaining in the first. Philadelphia scored the first eight points of the second to pull even at 31 on Redick’s 3-pointer 2 ½ minutes into the period. The teams stayed close for the rest of the half and went into the locker room tied at 54.
Cavaliers: Cleveland played its second game without J.R. Smith since Tuesday’s announcement that the Cavaliers sent home the veteran guard, who has requested a trade. . G George Hill (sprained right shoulder) missed his seventh straight contest.
76ers: Philadelphia’s record for consecutive home victories is 24, set during its 1983 championship season from Nov. 27, 1982-March 23, 1983. . G Markelle Fultz missed his second straight game following his agent’s announcement on Tuesday that Fultz wouldn’t practice or play until having his right shoulder examined. Fultz, who sat on the 76ers bench, is scheduled to see a specialist on Monday in New York. . Philadelphia native and former middleweight boxing champion Bernard Hopkins sat courtside.
Cavaliers: Host Houston on Saturday night.
76ers: At Brooklyn on Sunday.