Crucial Eastern Conference matchup in Philly
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Two teams that are battling to make the
playoffs in the Eastern Conference square off tonight, as the Philadelphia
76ers welcome the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers to Wachovia Center.
Philadelphia trails the Cavaliers by two games for the eighth and final
playoff spot. Cleveland leads the ninth-place Boston Celtics by a half-game
and the 10th-place Toronto Raptors by 1 1/2 games.
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two clubs. The
Cavaliers have won all three contests, winning twice at Gund Arena and once at
the Wachovia Center.
The Cavaliers come into tonight’s game having lost three games in a row.
Cleveland fell on Tuesday to the Phoenix Suns, 103-86, at Gund Arena.
Rookie phenom LeBron James paced the Cavaliers with 25 points and six assists,
while Carlos Boozer chipped in 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Boozer, who has averaged 19 points and 12.6 rebounds in his last 10 games, has
posted a double-double in four straight and 11 of his last 13 contests. James,
who has scored in double digits in 17 straight games, has averaged 21.3 points
in his last 10 contests.
Cleveland is 4-10 in Friday games this season. The Cavaliers, who have won
three straight as the visitor, are just 11-23 on the road.
On Wednesday, rookie Willie Green scored seven of his 18 points during a huge
run that propelled the 76ers to a 99-94 comeback win over the Phoenix Suns at
the Wachovia Center.
Samuel Dalembert continued to shine with 23 points and 14 rebounds for the
Sixers, who have won two straight overall and five in a row at home. Eric Snow
had 19 points, including an 11-of-13 performance from the foul line, and Kenny
Thomas added 17 in the win.
Philadelphia once again played without All-Star guard Allen Iverson, who is
bothered by inflammation in his right knee. Iverson, the team’s leading
scorer, has missed a career-high 24 contests this season and the 76ers are
11-13 without him.
Iverson is expected to miss tonight’s game.
The Sixers are 19-16 at home this season.
The 76ers have won 17 of 21 and 18 of their last 35 contests with the Cavs,
who have won 14 of their last 24 at Philadelphia.