The Philadelphia 76ers look to rebound from a brief misstep and get back on the fast track Saturday when they open a three-game homestand against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Philadelphia was tripped up by 21 turnovers — including a combined 15 from Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid — in Thursday’s 119-113 setback to Washington.
“I think we just came in too relaxed. Didn’t take care of the ball. Waited too long down the stretch to try to get the game back,” said Simmons, who posted his second double-double in three games with 17 points and 10 assists.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak and was just the second in 10 contests for the 76ers, who look to regain their footing in their return to the City of Brotherly Love. The team sports a perfect 10-0 record at home as opposed to a 5-7 mark on the road.
Embiid erupted for 26 points and a season-high 21 rebounds to offset his eight turnovers versus the Wizards, however NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that the All-Star center said he had discomfort with his hip following the loss.
Embiid won’t be alone on the sideline as Josh Richardson will miss his fifth consecutive game with right hamstring tightness.
“A hamstring is one of those things where you can think that you’re fine and then you take a wrong step and it’s a week or two-week setback,” Richardson said. “I don’t really want to get into that whole cycle.”
The availability of Cleveland’s Kevin Love is in question after an illness kept him out of Friday’s 93-87 setback to Orlando.
The loss to the Magic was the third this season for the Cavaliers, who are looking to prevent a similar scenario with the 76ers on Saturday.
Love recorded 20 points in a 98-97 loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 12 before being limited to 12 five nights later in a 114-95 setback to the 76ers.
Without Love on Friday, the Cavaliers fell for the fifth straight time and 11th in 12 outings as the Magic pulled away in the fourth quarter.
“These are the kind of games where you do everything right, but a team makes three more field goals than you or two more 3s than you, I guess it’s a moral victory,” Tristan Thompson said, per Cleveland.com. “Obviously we wanted to get this one, but guys played the right way, we played the right way today. Those are the games you wish you win, but if you play that way every night you’ll win your fair share.”
In addition to battles on the court, Cleveland’s John Beilein came under fire following a report that cited anonymous players stating they weren’t keen on his coaching style and have tuned him out.
Beilein, however, disputed that notion on Friday.
“We really had more than one of them, two, three, four we’ve met with and it’s like, ‘Coach, keep doing what you’re doing because we really need this. We need accountability, we need to play harder, stronger, tougher. Don’t stop what you’re doing,” he said.
–Field Level Media