The Cleveland Cavaliers have ended a rotten recent run with back-to-back wins. But they face a tall task to make it three straight. Tonight’s Cleveland Cavaliers vs Philadelphia 76ers matchup sees them face the Eastern Conference’s top team on the road.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Philadelphia 76ers Preview
Cavaliers Closing February with Wins
The Cavaliers won their first game this month against the Minnesota Timberwolves to move to 10-11. Then they dropped 10 games in a row, nine of them coming by 16 or more points. The sorry streak finally came to an end on Tuesday with a thrilling win over the Atlanta Hawks. Apparently they liked the winning feeling so much that they thought they would do it again the next night. They throttled the struggling Houston Rockets by 16, recording their second-biggest win of the season.
The Cavaliers allowed only 96 points against the Rockets, which is a rare achievement for them. In a 5-4 start to the season, they were fairly respectable defensively. In that stretch, they allowed under 100 points three times. But Wednesday’s showing was only the second time in the last 24 games that the Cavs have allowed under 100 points. For the season, the Cavs are allowing almost 113 points per game. That makes them one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA.
Embiid, 76ers Remain Atop East Standings
While the Brooklyn Nets are finally backing up their status as one of the main NBA championship odds favorites, it’s the 76ers who still hold steady in first place in the standings.
A three-game losing streak two weeks ago tightened the gap at the top, but the Sixers have responded with four wins in their last five games. Last time out, they produced their best defensive performance of the month, silencing Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in a 111-97 win on Thursday.
The hosts are ninth in the NBA in scoring at almost 114 points per game, and Thursday was the 21st time this season that the 76ers put up at least 110 points. When they do, it bodes well for their chances of winning. In those 21 games, the Sixers are 18-3.
These two teams have met once this season, with the Cavaliers claiming a 118-94 win in Cleveland on December 27. That is their biggest win of the season to date. A lot has changed since then, however. As a result, while consensus picks favor the visitors covering the spread, tonight’s matchup is overwhelmingly favored to go the way of the hosts.
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