Понедельник, 23 Апреля, 2018

Simmons triple-double in LeBron showdown

Five Keys Cavaliers at Sixers   
    
      
  Jesse D. Garrabrant  NBAE via Getty Images Five Keys Cavaliers at Sixers Jesse D. Garrabrant NBAE via Getty Images
| 09 Апреля, 2018, 01:37

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, right, drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons. Ben Simmons, it was sure to be must see tv.

Ben Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers have edged a fast-finishing Cleveland 132-130 for their 13th-straight National Basketball Association win, with the stars of today and tomorrow staging a stunning triple-double showdown. Most of those wins have come at the hands of the Eastern Conference bottom feeders, but on Friday night, the Sixers got a chance to show out against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game with major playoff implications.

"This was big, beating a team like that without an All-Star", Simmons said.

New York Knicks guard Damyean Dotson (3.0 ppg) got a month's worth of scoring on Friday, too, going off for 30 points - with 11 rebounds - in a 122-98 win over the Miami Heat. He put up his second 40 point triple-double of the season finishing with 44 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

JJ Redick scored 28 points, Marco Belinelli contributed 23 and Ersan Ilyasova had 17 for the surging Sixers (49-30), who won their 13th straight game for the first time since the 1984-85 season. "If you're down 30 in the postseason, that can lose you a series. We are playing well".

"We just played our game, didn't let the hype bother us and we stuck together".

Even without MVP candidate Joel Embiid, the Sixers are putting on a clinic and giving pending free agent LeBron one hell of a recruiting pitch.

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Sixers' Twitter even seemed divided on how to handle James - boo him or woo him with kindness?

James was booed each time he touched the ball and signs were spotted in the stands that read "Keep Cryin' in Cleveland" and "We Don't Want You".

The Sixers had them standing and roaring on nearly every possession.

"You add in Villanova, you add in the Eagles, obviously that helps as well", James said. However, after the Cavs fell to fourth thanks to the streaking 76ers, winners of 13 in a row, another second-round matchup with Cleveland is all of a sudden a distinct possibility for Toronto. "I think they believe in themselves, and I think that's the most important thing".

While there is no timetable for Embiid's return, Sixers coach Brett Brown believes "there is a genuine excitement and belief that he will be back for us" for the playoffs.

"I got some good sleep, rested well", he said. They have three games left (Dallas, at Atlanta, Milwaukee) while the Cavs face the Knicks in NY on Monday and then at home for their season finale two days later.

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