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Cavs defeat 76ers

The Cleveland Cavaliers easily defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 113-85 on Wednesday night thanks to Caris LeVert’s 22 points from the bench and Darius Garland’s 21 points and nine assists.

Donovan Mitchell contributed 18 points and six assists for Cleveland, which had a fourth-quarter lead of 33 points, a season-high. The Cavaliers have the third-best home record in the NBA with a 9-1 record at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

“For us to take the next step, we have to do it on the road and play the same way,” LeVert said. “It’s something that we’re working on and I think we’re figuring out where we’re going as a band. When one of us got in there, as I did tonight, we kept looking for them.

All-Star Center Joel Embiid led Philadelphia overall with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Shake Milton scored 14 points. The 76ers saw their three-game winning streak cut short in Game 1 of the three-game run.

“We’re really good,” said Garland with a laugh. “It was a good win and it feels great to be back home. Our fans are always great, but we have to carry that competitive nature on the road (when the Cavaliers are leading 5-7).

Cleveland took a 30-point lead in the second half before pushing the score to 109-76 thanks to LeVert’s three-pointer. LeVert also had 6 rebounds and 4 assists, while Evan Mobley scored 16 points in the first half and 8 rebounds.

Philadelphia back yard All-Star James Harden and Tyrese Maxey are still injured. The 76ers have won 5 games in a row against Cleveland.

The Cavaliers played without All-Star midfielder Jarrett Allen, who missed the third game in a row because of a bruise on his lower back.

Cleveland hit a burn rate of 94.1% in the second quarter and scored 44 points, two points short of their franchise record, for a 69-48 advantage at halftime. Mobley made 8/10 from the field in the first half, beating Embiid beautifully. Embiid missed a couple of technical free throws and was called out for his own free throw in the second game after missing four in a row due to a sprained left midfoot.

76ers coach Doc Rivers said: “The Cavs are playing against each other and they’re going to be tough for a long time. “I think having the obvious stars as Donovan and Garland will be helpful, so everyone has to play their part.” Two-way forward Mamadi Diakite made his first NBA game for Cleveland, scoring six goals.

De’Anthony Melton, a guard who the 76ers acquired from Memphis to bolster their depth off the bench, has started 12 games since Harden suffered an injury. Melton increased to seven the NBA’s longest active streak of games with multiple steals. Melton averages 11.0 points and 3.3 assists per game.

De’Anthony is a great player, but I don’t think he always enjoys being the main ballhandler, according to Rivers. “We advised him to go out and arrest someone if he wanted to gain respect in the locker room. De’Anthony has carried it out.

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