Philadelphia Tries To Stay In Race For East Top Spot
The Philadelphia 76ers visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday in a potential first-round playoff preview depending on how things play out in the final week of the regular season. Philadelphia is fourth in the Eastern Conference but a half-game behind the third-place Boston Celtics and 2½ games out of the top spot in the conference standings. Cleveland enters the day in the seventh spot in the East, which would put it in the play-in tournament, but it is only two games behind the sixth-place Chicago Bulls. This will be quite a battle with playoff intensity, so before you make a bet online on the game, take a look at our preview of the contest.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and NBA odds for Philadelphia 76ers vs Cleveland Cavaliers. We have plenty of predictions for you to consider.
76ers Coming Off Monster Offensive Performance
The Philadelphia 76ers have plenty of offensive weapons, but they were all on display on Saturday, as the team racked up 144 points and tied a franchise record with 21 3-pointers in a rout of the Charlotte Hornets. Center Joel Embiid led the way with 29 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, but seven players scored in double figures and the 76ers finished with 38 assists on 53 made baskets.
“We were able to move the ball well,” Embiid said after Saturday’s win, which snapped a three-game losing streak for Philadelphia. “I was extremely happy with the way that we played today because (of) the pace and how we moved the ball around and found our shooters.”
Those shooters are open because of the defensive attention paid to Embiid, who enters Sunday third in the NBA in scoring at 30.0 points per game. Embiid is one of the top candidates for NBA MVP honors, as he’s also seventh in the league in rebounding with 11.5 per game.
Guard James Harden is a great facilitator for the 76ers, ranking second in the NBA with 10.1 assists per game while also scoring 22.4 points a night. Harden’s ability to keep a defense off-balance helps open things up for the rest of the team on the perimeter.
Forward Tobias Harris scored 23 points in Saturday’s win, and he’ll be a key for the 76ers come playoff time. Harris can be a solid third scorer when he’s hitting from the perimeter, averaging 17.6 points and 6.9 rebounds, and teams will focus on Harden and Embiid and force Harris and others to beat them from the perimeter.
Cavaliers Playing Short-Handed Up Front
This is not the time for the Cleveland Cavaliers to be facing one of the league’s best post-up players in Embiid, as center Jarrett Allen is out of the lineup with a finger injury and rookie forward Evan Mobley is sidelined with an ankle injury. Backup center Moses Brown had a big game on Saturday in a win over the New York Knicks, going for 16 points and 13 rebounds for his second straight double-double, but he’s going to have some trouble matching up with Embiid.
The leader of Cleveland’s offensive attack has been All-Star guard Darius Garland, who paces the team with 21.6 points and 8.7 assists per game. Garland had 24 points and 13 assists in Saturday’s win, and he’ll need to get the ball moving for Cleveland against a tough 76ers defense.
Guard Caris LeVert hasn’t been as explosive offensively since coming to the Cavaliers in a midseason trade from the Indiana Pacers, but he is capable of big scoring games and provides solid perimeter defense. LeVert is averaging 13.8 points and 3.6 assists in 15 games with Cleveland.
Veteran forward Kevin Love has been a valuable reserve for the Cavaliers, providing 3-point shooting and solid rebounding. Love is averaging 13.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game while shooting 38.3% from beyond the arc
76ers at Cavaliers Head-to-Head
The Philadelphia 76ers have won all three meetings with the Cleveland Cavaliers, including a four-point victory in the last matchup in Cleveland on March 16. All three games between the teams have been decided by 10 points or less.
This has been a rivalry that has seen streaks of late, with Philadelphia having won four in a row, which followed a three-game winning streak by the Cavaliers. Prior to that, the 76ers took five straight meetings with Cleveland, and the NBA lines favor them to match that streak with a win in this one.
76ers at Cavaliers Game Information
- Game: Philadelphia 76ers (47-30) at Cleveland Cavaliers (43-35)
- Location: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
- Day/Time: Sunday, 6 p.m. ET
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
76ers at Cavaliers Betting Lines
76ers atCavaliers Prediction
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a solid defensive team, but that’s going to be tested by Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers in this one. If Allen and Mobley were available, Cleveland might make this one close, but we like Philadelphia to get an easy win in this one.
When making your NBA picks, take Philadelphia to win and cover on the road.