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Scoreboard: 76ers showcase talent for LeBron with 108-97 win

CLEVELAND (AP) First, the billboards. Now, the scoreboard.

The Philadelphia 76ers are giving LeBron James an eyeful and even more to think about.

J.J. Redick scored 22 points, Joel Embiid had 17 points and 14 rebounds, and the 76ers delivered an in-person sales pitch to James by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-97 on Thursday night to end an 11-game losing streak against the Eastern Conference champions.

Rookie Ben Simmons scored 18 and Dario Saric 16, including a critical 3-pointer in the closing minutes, for the rising Sixers, who are 8-2 since Feb. 6.

James finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but the superstar couldn't rally the Cavs in the final minutes.

Earlier this week, three billboards urging the three-time champion to sign as a free agent this summer with Philadelphia were unveiled on a busy highway outside Cleveland. The large signs, which were paid for by a Pennsylvania company, are intended to entice James to leave home and join a Sixers team brimming with young talent and potential.

Simmons is sure James knows what's going on in Philly.

''He knows,'' Simmons said. ''He knows. He's a very smart guy. His IQ on the court is amazing.''

And if the rumors weren't enough, Embiid posted a photo on Twitter of him and James with the comment: ''Trust The Process??? Always a great time playing against one of the best to ever play the game (hash)summer2018goals.''

Philadelphia nearly blew a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter as the Cavs, who never led, got within 95-94 on Kyle Korver's 3-pointer with 2:25 left. However, the Sixers showed poise down the stretch by scoring the next eight points to seal an impressive win.

''We're proud of the win,'' coach Brett Brown said. ''Any time you can beat a team LeBron James plays on you must have done something fairly decent. Saric's 3 really was the back-breaker.''

Tempers flared in the closing seconds when Saric dunked and Cleveland's Jordan Clarkson threw the ball off his back. Clarkson was ejected, but that didn't stop players from jawing at each other.

Clarkson defended his actions.

''If anybody say different, that they wouldn't have did that, that they'd have did something different, or anything else, they lying,'' he said. ''Especially if it was at that (part) of the game. They know what's up. That's it.''

Saric insists he wasn't trying to embarrass the Cavs.

''I was surprised,'' he said of Clarkson's reaction. ''We're NBA players. To be mad about something like that, for me, is a little bit weird, but I want to apologize to the organization, to them and to the fans.''

After the final horn, James walked to Philadelphia's end of the floor and to hug both Simmons and Embiid, embraces that had to make Cleveland fans cringe.

James was asked what kind of a matchup problem is the 6-foot-10 Simmons, who added nine rebounds and eight assists.

''The same one I bring,'' he said. ''Power, speed, quickness, size, court awareness. Same one I bring.''

SHOW STOPPER

James had a jaw-dropping, behind-the-back dribble in traffic that went between Tristan Thompson's legs before he scored and was fouled. James looked up and watched the replay before shooting his free throw, but he didn't know all the details of the play until halftime.

''One of my guys from the NBA showed me and I was like, `OK, yeah, that's probably one of the best plays I've had in my career,''' he said.

SMITH SUSPENDED

The Cavs played without starting guard J.R. Smith, who was suspended one game by the team for detrimental conduct. Smith attended the team's morning shootaround, but coach Tyronn Lue indicated something happened after the workout that led to the one-game ban. Lue expects Smith to practice Friday and play Saturday against Denver.

LOVE UPDATE

Cavs All-Star forward Kevin Love remains weeks away from his return, but he's making steady, significant progress. On Thursday, he did some on-court work while wearing a padded glove to protect the fracture he sustained on Jan. 29.

The Cavs have not changed their timetable on Love, who is not expected back until the final week in March. He's averaging 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

In response to the (hash)PhillyWantsLeBron signs, a Cleveland marketing agency put up a digital billboard across the street from Quicken Loans Arena. The billboard says: ''Hey Philly'' written above a picture of a golden crown symbolizing James' royal ''King James'' nickname.

TIP-INS

Sixers: Simmons was named the Eastern Conference's top rookie for February after averaging 16 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists. He was the only rookie to average at least 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per game in the month, joining James, Russell Westbrook and Nikola Jokic as the only players to do it league-wide. ... F Ersan Ilyasova played 18 minutes after re-signing with Philadelphia on Wednesday. Ilyasova reached a contract buyout with Atlanta, clearing his return to the Sixers.

Cavaliers: Rodney Hood started for Smith and scored 11 on 5-of-14 shooting. ... James (927) moved past Michael Jordan (926) into fourth place for the fourth-most 20-point games. ...

UP NEXT

Sixers: Host Charlotte on Friday.

Cavaliers: Host Nuggets on Saturday.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
J. Embiid
21 C
L. James
23 SF
37.1 Min. Per Game 37.1
26.7 Pts. Per Game 26.7
9.0 Ast. Per Game 9.0
8.4 Reb. Per Game 8.4
49.0 Field Goal % 54.4
49.2 Three Point % 54.4
77.1 Free Throw % 73.7
  Defensive rebound by Robert Covington 0:00
  London Perrantes missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:00
  London Perrantes missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:02
+ 1 JJ Redick made free throw 0:12
  Unsportsmanlike technical foul 0:12
+ 2 Dario Saric made driving dunk, assist by T.J. McConnell 0:12
+ 2 Rodney Hood made driving dunk, assist by LeBron James 0:17
+ 2 Ben Simmons made driving dunk 0:26
  Defensive rebound by Joel Embiid 0:28
  Larry Nance Jr. missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:28
+ 1 Larry Nance Jr. made 1st of 2 free throws 0:28
Team Stats
Points 108 97
Field Goals 40-90 (44.4%) 36-87 (41.4%)
3-Pointers 10-30 (33.3%) 9-32 (28.1%)
Free Throws 18-27 (66.7%) 16-23 (69.6%)
Total Rebounds 65 52
Offensive 14 10
Defensive 40 35
Team 11 7
Assists 22 23
Steals 4 4
Blocks 5 6
Turnovers 9 9
Fouls 20 21
Technicals 0 1
18 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST
30 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST
1234T
away team logo 76ers 33-27 32271831108
home team logo Cavaliers 36-25 2927152697
Team Stats
away team logo 76ers 33-27 114.2 PPG 47.3 RPG 26.6 APG
home team logo Cavaliers 36-25 103.4 PPG 44 RPG 19.5 APG
Key Players
J. Redick SG 18.2 PPG 2.3 RPG 3.0 APG 43.6 FG%
L. James SF PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
J. Redick SG 22 PTS 2 REB 2 AST
L. James SF 30 PTS 9 REB 8 AST
44.4 FG% 41.4
33.3 3PT FG% 28.1
66.7 FT% 69.6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Redick 29 22 2 2 0 0 1 3 7/11 4/7 4/6 0 2 27 +17
B. Simmons 31 18 9 8 2 1 2 5 8/14 0/0 2/2 1 8 44 +11
J. Embiid 34 17 14 6 0 1 2 1 7/18 0/1 3/8 6 8 42 +16
D. Saric 29 16 9 0 0 0 1 3 5/13 2/5 4/4 3 6 24 +18
R. Covington 40 10 10 1 1 1 1 3 4/11 2/8 0/0 0 10 23 +9
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Redick 29 22 2 2 0 0 1 3 7/11 4/7 4/6 0 2 27 +17
B. Simmons 31 18 9 8 2 1 2 5 8/14 0/0 2/2 1 8 44 +11
J. Embiid 34 17 14 6 0 1 2 1 7/18 0/1 3/8 6 8 42 +16
D. Saric 29 16 9 0 0 0 1 3 5/13 2/5 4/4 3 6 24 +18
R. Covington 40 10 10 1 1 1 1 3 4/11 2/8 0/0 0 10 23 +9
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Belinelli 23 11 3 0 0 0 1 1 4/9 1/4 2/3 1 2 13 -4
E. Ilyasova 18 6 2 2 0 0 1 2 2/5 0/2 2/2 0 2 11 -7
A. Johnson 13 6 5 0 0 2 0 2 2/5 1/1 1/2 3 2 13 -5
T. McConnell 19 2 0 3 1 0 0 0 1/4 0/2 0/0 0 0 9 0
J. Bayless - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Booker - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Holmes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Anderson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Young - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Korkmaz - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Luwawu-Cabarrot - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Fultz - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 108 54 22 4 5 9 20 40/90 10/30 18/27 14 40 206 +55
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. James 39 30 9 8 1 0 3 2 12/24 2/6 4/6 1 8 53 -8
R. Hood 38 11 5 5 0 1 1 4 5/14 1/5 0/0 0 5 26 -20
G. Hill 22 7 3 3 0 1 1 2 3/10 0/4 1/2 2 1 16 -7
T. Thompson 21 6 11 0 1 0 0 2 2/6 0/0 2/4 6 5 18 -12
C. Osman 15 6 1 1 0 0 0 4 2/4 2/4 0/0 0 1 9 -10
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. James 39 30 9 8 1 0 3 2 12/24 2/6 4/6 1 8 53 -8
R. Hood 38 11 5 5 0 1 1 4 5/14 1/5 0/0 0 5 26 -20
G. Hill 22 7 3 3 0 1 1 2 3/10 0/4 1/2 2 1 16 -7
T. Thompson 21 6 11 0 1 0 0 2 2/6 0/0 2/4 6 5 18 -12
C. Osman 15 6 1 1 0 0 0 4 2/4 2/4 0/0 0 1 9 -10
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. Nance Jr. 26 13 7 0 1 3 0 1 5/7 0/0 3/4 1 6 24 +1
J. Clarkson 26 10 3 4 1 0 1 1 3/7 0/2 4/5 0 3 21 +1
K. Korver 27 9 2 1 0 1 1 3 3/8 3/7 0/0 0 2 13 -1
J. Green 22 5 4 1 0 0 2 2 1/6 1/3 2/2 0 4 9 +1
L. Perrantes 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 0
J. Holland - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Love - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Thornton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Zizic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Calderon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 237 97 45 23 4 6 9 21 36/87 9/32 16/23 10 35 189 -55