Cleveland at Philadelphia

Balanced offense helps Cavs win without LeBron

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- The Cleveland Cavaliers found out what the Philadelphia 76ers already knew: A balanced scoring attack can overcome the absence of a star player.

The Cavaliers, missing the injured LeBron James, got double-figure scoring from five players and rallied from a 17-point deficit for a 105-97 victory over the 76ers on Friday night.

With James sidelined by a sprained big toe on his right foot, the Cavs mustered offense throughout the lineup -- from veterans David Wesley and Donyell Marshall to rookie guard Daniel Gibson.

Drew Gooden scored 21 points and Marshall chipped in with 17 points and nine assists. Larry Hughes added 16 points, Damon Jones, who shot 0-for-8 in a loss to Philly two days earlier, added 15, and Gibson stepped up with 11 fourth-quarter points for Cleveland.

The Cavaliers had dropped five of six -- including a double-overtime loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday.

"We have a very talented group," Gooden said. "When we lost our star, I said, 'Everybody's got to step up,' and that's just what we did."

The loss spoiled another balanced effort by the 76ers, who have found some success with a deep lineup since trading star Allen Iverson to Denver and releasing Chris Webber. The fourth-quarter collapse also tarnished a triple-double by Andre Miller, who grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds to go with 12 points and 13 assists.

Andre Iguodala finished with 22 points, Joe Smith had 15, Rodney Carney 14, Kyle Korver 13 and Steven Hunter 12 for Philadelphia, which again had trouble protecting a lead and had its two-game winning streak halted.

"There's no excuses, really," Miller said. "As a team at home, you kind of have to bury a team."

James missed his first game of the season and watched from the bench in street clothes. Cleveland coach Mike Brown said early Friday that he expects James to be available for Sunday's home game against the Phoenix Suns.

James, elected to start in next month's All-Star game, originally injured his toe on a West Coast swing earlier this month. He aggravated it in a double-overtime home loss to the Sixers, and sat out a team workout Thursday while undergoing tests. He later flew to New York to tape an appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman."

At the start of the fourth quarter, Marshall hit a field goal and added two free throws. Gibson had a driving layup and two free throws, pulling the Cavs to 83-81. After a bad pass by Carney, Cleveland capitalized and tied the score on a drive by Gooden with 7:14 left.

The Cavaliers took their first lead at 85-83 on a sweeping hook by Gooden and, after the Sixers rallied to tie it at 90, Cleveland closed out the come-from-behind win with a 15-7 run, highlighted by timely baskets from nearly the entire lineup. Gibson had a 3-pointer and two free throws, and Wesley added four from the line in the run.

"From top to bottom, everybody stepped up," Brown said. "Even LeBron was into the game as much as anybody. His enthusiasm rubbed off."

The triple-double was the seventh of Miller's career, and first with the Sixers since being traded to Philadelphia from Denver in December. The last Sixers player to record a triple-double was Iguodala (18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists) against Milwaukee in November.

Miller found a small bit of consolation in the all-around effort.

"I guess you could say that, but it would've been better if we won the game -- that's the main thing," said Miller, whose last triple-double came in January 2004 while with the Nuggets, against Minnesota."

The Cavaliers made a strong push in the third quarter, whittling away at their 17-point halftime deficit.

"It shows we have other weapons," Brown said. "It's the first time without LeBron, so it's a big confidence booster."

Hughes scored six points in a nine-point run as the Cavs closed within seven before Korver halted the push with a 3-pointer.

Two 3s by Jones and a 3-pointer by Marshall helped Cleveland get within five in the last minute of the quarter. A free throw by Iguodala restored a six-point lead entering the fourth.

The Sixers opened up a 15-point lead in the first 7 minutes and kept the Cavaliers at a distance throughout the first half, carrying a 17-point lead into the break. They made 17 of their first 21 shots, but struggled through the second quarter and into the third, hitting a 12-for-34 patch.

Iguodala and Smith each scored 11 points in the first half, and Miller had 10 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Smith shot 4-for-6 from the field and 3-for-3 from the line.

Notes

  • Iguodala had a stellar free-throw streak halted in the third period. In the last three games, he had made 23 straight
  • James watched the game from the bench, decked out in a black sports coat, dark slacks and deep blue shirt and tie
  • Sixers G Willie Green missed his third straight game with a sore right knee
  • Wilt Chamberlain has the most triple-doubles in Philadelphia franchise history with 62. Billy Cunningham is next at 14, and then Charles Barkley with 10
  • The 76ers are 8-13 since trading Iverson to the Denver Nuggets.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Injured superstar LeBron James enjoys his view from the bench.  (AP)
Injured superstar LeBron James enjoys his view from the bench. (AP)

Scoreboard
Cleveland (25-18) «25182933105
Philadelphia (13-31) 3822181997
CLE:D. Gooden 21 Pts
CLE:D. Gooden 10 Reb
CLE:D. Gibson 5 Ast
PHI:A. Iguodala 22 Pts
PHI:A. Miller 12 Reb
PHI:A. Miller 13 Ast
Players of the Game
PhiladelphiaCleveland

A. Iguodala

D. Gooden
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
226721103
Cleveland
D. Gooden, PF398-175-6103321
L. Hughes, SG338-150-144116
S. Pavlovic, SF273-70-00106
Z. Ilgauskas, C194-80-07218
E. Snow, PG131-40-01232
D. Marshall, PF295-85-891417
D. Jones, PG265-90-013115
D. Wesley, SG241-42-23325
D. Gibson, PG223-64-425111
A. Varejao, PF101-12-42054
S. Pollard, CDid Not Play
I. Newble, SFDid Not Play
L. James, SFDid Not Play
D. Jones, PFDid Not Play
S. Brown, SGDid Not Play
Totals 39-7918-25392421105
 49.4%72.0% 
Philadelphia
A. Iguodala, SF436-1210-1567222
A. Miller, PG425-112-21213212
R. Carney, SF346-100-011314
S. Dalembert, C283-51-23047
S. Hunter, C256-80-220212
K. Korver, SF303-136-821313
J. Smith, PF254-67-720315
L. Williams, SG61-10-01012
B. Jones, SF50-20-02000
A. Henderson, PF20-00-00000
K. Ollie, PGDid Not Play
W. Green, SGDid Not Play
S. Randolph, PFDid Not Play
Totals 34-6826-3631222097
 50.0%72.2% 
Other Games
Atl 93 Final
Orl 90
Bos 90 Final
Tor 96
Mia 96 Final
NY 116
Wash 99 Final
Det 96
Mem 96 Final
SA 112
Sac 84 Final
NO 88
Port 69 Final
Hou 99
Pho 98 Final
Mil 90
Den 111 Final
Utah 116
Char 106 Final
LAL 97
Min 100 Final
Sea 102