Well. It was bound to happen eventually, right?
The last time the Philadelphia 76ers lost a game at home was March 16, 2018 against the Brooklyn Nets. They were 10-0 at home this season going into tonight’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers – a team that had not yet won a road game this season.
Kendall Jenner spotting. pic.twitter.com/2fE6DXyvH8— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 24, 2018
Quoting Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and many characters in the Star Wars Universe: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
(Granted. Blaming the loss tonight on some weird juju caused by Kendall Jenner is the road some will go down. I won’t partake in such things, but you folks do you.)
Right from the first quarter it didn’t feel right. Rookie Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton had eight points in the quarter to go along with Cedi Osman’s seven. The Cavs led by as much as 12 with 2:37 to go in the first period.
The Sixers didn’t take their first lead of the game until a Ben Simmons layup with about four minutes to go made it 50-48. In that same quarter, the Sixers hit six three pointers (Redick 2x, Embiid 2x, Butler, Shamet), but something still wasn’t feeling right.
Joel Embiid led the Sixers in scoring with 11. Jimmy Butler had ten, and Ben Simmons added eight.
Sexton was still pacing the Cavs with 14 points to end the first half. The Cavaliers had 11 offensive rebounds at the break – which was a concern going into this game given Tristan Thompson averages about five offensive rebounds per game.
It was a little weird to notice that the Cavaliers hadn’t scored a bench point in the entire half. Something weird was going to happen in this game, but there was no clear indication what that was.
Oh, right! Jordan Clarkson apparently powered up like a member of the Ginyu Force in the locker room during half time. (I would have called him “Frieza” or something, but that’s total disrespect to Frieza.)
After scoring zero (yes, ZERO) points in the first half, Clarkson scored all 19 of his points in the final 24 minutes on 15 shots. When Clarkson hit a running layup to make it 114-99 with two minutes to go, he was flexing and motioning to the home faithful.
(Listen. I would never advocate for someone giving Clarkson the business after that, but in that moment, I would have been perfectly okay if it happened.)
Joel Embiid’s league leading 19-th double/double of the season (24 points/12 rebounds) wasn’t enough – nor was Simmons’s 22 and 10 assists. Jimmy Butler’s 22 wasn’t enough, either considering both Landry Shamet (coming off a career high game) and Mike Muscala were a combined 3/14 from deep.
(SIDE NOTE: It might be time to think about doing some shuffling regarding Wilson Chandler. Chandler had four points and four personal fouls in 31 minutes and was a -10 on the night.)
Rodney Hood led the Cavs with 25 to go with Sexton’s 23 on 10/18 from the field as well as the previously mentioned Clarkson. Tristan Thompson finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds (eight of which were offensive).
Well, that was fun while it lasted. That’s fine. Let’s just start a new run, right? See everyone in Brooklyn on Sunday.