NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 29th (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia 76ers (28-43) at Cleveland Cavaliers (22-48), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins said his team will not give up on the remainder of the season even though it doesn't have much of a shot to reach the playoffs.
Sitting seven games off the eighth and final playoff spot with 11 to go, the Sixers will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday and are scheduled to play five of the next six games away from home.
After Wednesday's 100-92 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, Collins was asked if the 76ers have reverted their plans to play spoiler the rest of the way.
"Are we eliminated?" Collins asked. "We're not quitting; we're going to keep playing, man. I've never quit before I got to the finish line. I'm sure not going to start that now and our team doesn't have that personality."
Collins added that the city of Philadelphia means too much to himself and the players to start packing it in. The Sixers have been plagued by injuries and, of course, the whole Andrew Bynum saga. They have won two of three games and blew an 18-point lead versus the Bucks before rallying in the fourth quarter.
Spencer Hawes, as Collins put it, was the Sixers' "ace of spades" with 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Damien Wilkins and Jrue Holiday netted 18 points apiece for the 76ers, who got 14 points from Thaddeus Young. It was Philly's third straight win at home.
"It's a great feeling," Young said. "We were locked in and communicating. We're focused on winning."
Hawes has five double-doubles in his last seven games.
The 76ers, who are 5-4 in their last nine and 7-26 on the road, will return home Saturday to host Charlotte, then are slated to play four in a row on the road against the Bobcats, Hawks, Heat and Nets.
Cleveland will try to end a three-game home losing streak Friday and recently sustained a tough 93-92 setback to the Boston Celtics. Celtics forward Jeff Green deposited the game-winning layup at the buzzer to send Cleveland to its sixth loss in a row.
Wayne Ellington netted 16 points, while C.J. Miles and Marreese Speights each had 13 points off the bench for the Cavs, who squandered a 14-point deficit when Boston ended the game on a 21-6 burst.
"I thought we stopped being aggressive," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "We were looking at the clock, playing not to lose the game instead of win the game. With 5:40 left in the game, we get one field goal for the rest of the game. You have to look to win. You can't hope the clock runs out and I thought that's what we kind of did."
The Cavs are 13-22 at home and will play back-to-back road games against New Orleans and Atlanta after entertaining the Sixers. Cleveland and Philadelphia have split two meetings this season. The Sixers had won six in a row in this series until a 92-83 loss at Quicken Loans Arena on Nov. 21.
03/29 10:38:14 ET