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.CLE PHI