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Cavaliers blow big lead, fall short in Philly

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 9:28 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - In what felt like a possible playoff preview, the Cleveland Cavaliers came out firing in Philadelphia Friday.

However, the 76ers prevailed in the end, rallying for a 125-119 win.

The Cavs tallied a whopping 43 points in the first quarter and led by as many as 18 points in the first half.

“We were better,” said head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “We felt and looked like ourselves for the first time in a while. We just ran into a really good basketball team.”

Tyrese Maxey paced Philadelphia with 33 points. He and Georges Niang hit five three-pointers apiece.

James Harden added 25 points and 11 assists for the Sixers.

“They’re a talented offensive team,” Bickerstaff said. “They test you. But I thought our guys competed.”

Darius Garland was great in defeat, scoring 26 points and dishing out 19 assists in 43 minutes.

“There was a lot of good things in this game,” Garland said. “It was a playoff atmosphere. We want games like this.”

Isaac Okoro chipped in 22 points. while Jarrett Allen and Cedi Osman scored 20 each.

“He does a great job of playing downhill and playing with force,” Bickerstaff said of Okoro, who hit 7-of-8 from the floor and 8-of-9 at the foul line.

Cleveland (36-27) returns home Sunday to face the Toronto Raptors.

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