Philadelphia 76ers guard Buddy Hield (17) shoots in front of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Max Strus (1) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in Cleveland . (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

CLEVELAND – Buddy Hield is still getting used to his new surroundings. He seemed much calmer on Monday night.

Hield scored 24 points in his third game with Philadelphia, Kelly Oubre Jr. also had 24 and the 76ers snapped Cleveland's nine-game winning streak with a 123-121 victory over the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers nearly came back from a 10-point deficit in the final 1:25. They had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Darius Garland missed a 3-pointer from the right corner.

“It was good to get out,” Garland said. “It looked good.”

All-Star Tyrese Maxey had 22 points as the Sixers won for the third time in 11 games. Maxey split a pair of free throws with 6.9 seconds remaining, giving Cleveland one last possession to extend its longest winning streak since having LeBron James in 2018.

Donovan Mitchell, who led the Cavaliers with 36 points, drove the lane and had a contested layup blocked by Oubre. Cleveland got the rebound under the basket and kicked it to Garland, who was unable to convert.

Hield was acquired from Indiana before the trade deadline last week by the 76ers, who are trying to stay afloat while awaiting Joel Embiid's return from knee surgery. It will be a difficult task without the reigning MVP, but Hield will try to prevent the Sixers from slipping too far in the standings.

“I’ve been in this position for a long time,” said Hield, who also had eight assists before committing a foul in the final minute. “In a close game like this, I know we have to use our best and play together. All the negotiations happened quickly, but we all came on board and coach Nick (Nurse) is doing a great job just playing to our strengths. We are having fun. We are being selfless.”

One of the NBA's most dangerous outside shooters, Hield made two 3-pointers and scored nine straight points in the fourth quarter as Philadelphia took a 113-106 lead.

“With Buddy down the stretch, he looked a guy right in the eye and hit a 3,” Nurse said. “He can shoot the ball – we know that.”

The Cavaliers, who have won 17 of 18, were still within seven points when Oubre hit a 3-pointer with 1:25 left to put the Sixers up 120-110.

But Cleveland fought back with Garland hitting a 3-pointer and Mitchell converting a three-point play before hitting a 3 to make it 120-119 with 14 seconds left. The Cavaliers positioned themselves to get it done, but fell to 22-5 since December 16th.

“I don’t mean this in a harsh way, but we deserved to lose this game just based on how we started,” Mitchell said. “We left as if they were going to drop everything and let us continue to do what we do.”

Jarrett Allen added 21 points and 10 rebounds and Evan Mobley had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland.

The Cavaliers' winning streak was the club's longest since the 13-player season in 2017-18, when James led them to a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance before leaving for a second time as a free agent.

“This is nothing to overreact to and get upset about,” Mitchell said. “I think the most important thing is to go out with the right mindset. We hadn't done that in months. It’s okay to have a blip on the radar, but for us it’s about continuing to sustain that and not getting bored with success.”

The shorthanded 76ers were without forward Tobias Harris (left hip pain).


Unable to save your signature. Please try again.


Your subscription was successful.

The 76ers were expected to sign guard Kyle Lowry on Tuesday once he cleared waivers. The 37-year-old Philadelphia native had his contract terminated and was released over the weekend by Charlotte, who acquired him from Miami last month.

NEXT APPOINTMENT

76ers: Host Miami on Wednesday.

Cavaliers: Host Chicago on Wednesday.



Source